Taxi driver third to be fined from Henley Royal Regatta

Abdul Haye Azad is the third driver to be convicted from last year’s annual rowing event, after drivers Mohammed Tula Miah and Zaheer Ahmed Choudhry.

At the event, Azad had been caught by officers from South Oxfordshire District Council parking on double yellow lines in Thameside, Henley.

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Officers identified the vehicle as a hackney carriage licensed by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Hackney carriage vehicles licensed outside the district are not permitted to pick customers up off the street without a booking through a licensed private hire operator.

When asked by an officer if Azad could take them to Reading Station, Azad replied saying ‘he was available and could do the journey immediately for £45’.

Afterwards he was approached by officers from South Oxfordshire and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to talk about what he had offered to do, he refused to show his council issued driver’s badge and drove off.

In Oxford Magistrates’ Court, Azad, 55, of Lingholm Close in Maidenhead, pleaded guilty to illegally plying for hire, failure to comply with a reasonable request of a council officer by failing to hand over his council issued badge and obstruction of a council officer by deliberately driving off. 

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He was issued a fine of £500 for the plying for hire offence and awarded costs to the district council of £1,300 with an additional £200 victim surcharge.

In December and January, the other two other drivers was fined for also illegally plying for hire in Henley during the regatta – one driver had a Buckinghamshire hackney carriage licence and the other with a private hire vehicle licensed by Transport for London.

Miah and Choudhry were each fined £2,132 and £1,630 respectively.

Councillor Kate Gregory, cabinet member for legal and democratic at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “This is the third time we’ve seen a conviction against drivers acting illegally in Henley during the regatta.

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“We take action against any drivers illegally plying for hire because they could be putting people’s safety at risk and it takes trade away from most drivers who are fully licensed and insured.

 “We are very grateful to the assistance provided by officers from all the other local authorities that have been involved and attended the regatta with us to check the vehicles and drivers that they license.”

Reading Chronicle | West Berkshire