Taxi driver who left blind woman with guide dog at the side of the road loses licence

A taxi driver had his licence revoked after telling a blind passenger she’d have to put her guide dog in the boot.

Shamal Hussein Majid refused to take the woman at first, a court heard, before insisting she put her dog in the back and pay £10 to have the vehicle cleaned.

After that, he abandoned her at the side of the road.

Majid appealed against Wolverhampton Council’s decision to revoke his private hire driver licence but Dudley Magistrates’ Court dismissed his plea.

The council’s solicitor, Amy Groves, told the court on Friday how Majid had initially refused to carry a customer with a guide dog from Molineux Stadium on March 7, 2020.

Taxi sign
His licence was revoked. File photo

The customer was then advised to put the assistance dog in the boot of the vehicle – and told she would be charged an extra £10 in order to clean the vehicle.

When challenged by the customer, Majid later said that he was allergic to dogs, despite not holding an exemption certificate.

He then abandoned the customer – who is registered legally blind – at the roadside and drove away.

After dismissing the appeal, District Judge Wheeler, said: “I do not accept your evidence at all. You were making it up when you attended the review hearing in April last year and you are making it up today as you go along.

“I attach no credibility at all to your evidence.

“Wolverhampton Council were right to speak to you about this and to conclude that you abandoned the passenger and her guide dog.

“The council’s decision was not wrong. They reached a reasonable conclusion and their response was appropriate.”

Majid was also ordered to pay the council £300 towards legal costs.

The council’s commercial regulation manager, Chris Howell, said: “Leaving a vulnerable person at the side of the road is inexcusable and certainly not the high standard that we expect from our licensed drivers who all undergo disability awareness training to ensure they are aware of their legal obligation to carry assistance dogs at no additional charge.

“Where a driver has a medical condition that would prevent them from carrying assistance dogs, this must be independently verified through medical testing and an exemption certificate is issued.”

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