A NOTTINGHAM private hire driver has pleaded guilty to plying for hire illegally while using an unlicensed vehicle.
Maroof Bostan (51) of Bakerdale Road in the suburb of Bakersfield was arrested by plainclothes police officers after he was caught picking up a fare without a booking.
Nottingham Magistrates Court heard that an undercover police operation on October 30 had targeted private hire drivers illegally plying for hire and that detectives had approached Bostan’s red Toyota Prius and asked: “If he was free to take them somewhere”.
Prosecution lawyer Daniel Pietryka told the court the private hire driver agreed to take them to Porchester Road in Mapperley and that shortly after the journey had started the officers explained who they were and asked him to pull over.
Bostan was subsequently charged with plying for hire illegally. He pleaded guilty and was fined £296, with court costs of £85 and a £30 victim surcharge.
Citing mitigating circumstances, the clerk to the court told the magistrates she had a letter from DG Taxis, stating that the company was, “totally shocked” at the actions of Mr Bostan but that they were adamant it was a, “momentary lapse of character on his part”.
Mr Bostan represented himself in court and said that normally, he only ever picked up prebooked fares. He added:
I have been doing this job for a very, very long period of time and I have never had any problems with my private hire licence. It was a one-off thing really and I don’t have a police record or anything.