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Uttlesford District Council prosecutes taxi licence applicant who failed to disclose criminal record

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A would-be taxi driver who failed to declare previous convictions has been prosecuted by Uttlesford District Council.

Halil Pekmezci applied for a joint hackney carriage/private hire vehicle driver's licence from the authority but did not disclose the convictions, which included benefit fraud offences and a crime and disorder offence.

At Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on August 1, Pekmezci, of Princess Court, Cambridge, was found guilty in his absence of making a false statement in order to obtain a licence.

He was fined £220 and was ordered to pay the council's prosecution costs of £623.18 plus a £30 victim surcharge, making £873.18 in total.

His application had been refused by the council's licensing and environmental health committee on April 23.

Cllr Patrick Lavelle, chair of the committee, said: "The council has robust policies and procedures in place that are designed to keep passengers safe when using taxis and private hire vehicles in the district.

"Failure to declare a conviction on a taxi driver licence application is an offence, and I hope this prosecution serves as a reminder to those who deliberately seek to mislead the council that we will find out and we will take the necessary course of action.

"The circumstances of this particular case made the applicant unsuitable for the responsibility of accepting passengers."

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