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(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr A Ustych (instructed by Transport for London) appeared on behalf of the Respondent
Crown Copyright ©
"Transport for London/delegated officer may in his discretion refuse to grant a cab driver's licence
b. If the applicant fails to satisfy him that he is of good character and fit to act as a cab-driver."
"this licensing regime ... is plainly intended, among other things, to ensure so far as possible that those licensed to drive private vehicles are suitable persons to do so, namely that they are safe drivers with good driving records and adequate experience, sober, mentally and physically fit, honest, and not persons who would take advantage of their employment to abuse or assault passengers."
"in other words the [licensing authority] is focusing on the impact of the licence holder's vehicle and character on members of the public and in particular, but not exclusively, on the potential users of those vehicles. This does not require any consideration of the personal circumstances which are irrelevant, except perhaps in very rare cases to explain or excuse some conduct of the driver."
A serious view is taken of any drug related offence. The nature and quantity of the drugs, whether for personal use or supply are issues which should be considered. An application from an applicant who has an isolated conviction for an offence related to the possession of drugs within the last 3-5 years may be considered, but consideration must be given to the nature and quantity of the drugs, as well as the sentence imposed by the court."
"We were of the opinion that:
(1) If Mr Pinnington wanted to appeal against the conviction then he should have done that already and that this appeal Bench have a conviction before them which they would not go behind.
(2) The rectification by the parties regarding the policy and 'exceptional circumstances' was irrelevant
(3) The fact that Mr Pinnington's licence had lapsed (and therefore he was driving uninsured) and that he had failed to renew it meant that he was not a fit person
(4) The existence of the cannabis conviction and sentence meant that Mr Pinnington was not a fit person
(5) Little weight was to be placed on the failure to change address."