Concern over complaints of aggression and a complaint of inappropriate sexual language to a lone female passenger led to the North Somerset Council licensing committee revoking a driver’s private hire licence with immediate effect.

An appeal to the magistrates’ court was successfully resisted by the Council and an application to have the suspension lifted pending further appeal was refused.

An order for costs was made in favour of the local authority. The driver further appealed to the Crown Court sitting in Bristol. HHJ Patrick QC, sitting with two magistrates, dismissed the appeal with costs, concluding that “we have no hesitancy to say” that the Council did not get it wrong and that the driver is not a fit and proper person to hold a private hire driver’s licence.

North Somerset Council was represented by Roy Light of St John’s Chambers Licensing team instructed by Emma Anderson of the council’s legal department.

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