Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Ipswich: Taxi driver fined by court for refusing to transport blind couple and their guide dogs

PUBLISHED: 14:55 28 February 2013 | UPDATED: 14:55 28 February 2013

Taxi driver Metin Akin. He refused to take a blind couple because of their guide dogs and was taken to court by Ipswich Borough Council.

Taxi driver Metin Akin. He refused to take a blind couple because of their guide dogs and was taken to court by Ipswich Borough Council.

A TAXI driver has been fined after pleading guilty to refusing to transport a blind couple and their two guide dogs – in one of the first prosecutions of its kind in the UK.

Metin Akin, of Coopers Close in Witnesham, was forced to pay £1,413 in fines and court fees at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Christopher Bing, representing Ipswich Borough Council, told the court on July 8 last year Martin Roberts had called to book a taxi with Ipswich Cabs 289 Ltd.

He and his partner Clare Burman, and their two guide dogs Vikki and Malone, requested to be taken from a relative’s address in Felixstowe Road, to their home in Bridgewater Road, Chantry.

The booking was accepted by the controller and given to Akin as the closest driver in the area.

After initially accepting the fare, the 32-year-old driver, refused after learning it would involve transporting the couple’s dogs.

Akin told the controller he didn’t want to carry the guide dogs because his new Volkswagen Passat saloon had leather seats. He suggested the journey required an estate car.

The operator told Akin he could not refuse the journey because of the guide dogs but he refused to change his mind.

The controller was concerned at delaying Mr Roberts’s journey and gave the job to another driver who accepted the fare in his saloon car.

The court heard, the Equality Act 2010, states licensed drivers have a statutory duty to transport guide dogs.

They can only refuse if they hold an exemption certificate on medical grounds.

Akin did not hold such a certificate. In August 2012 he applied for the documentation on the basis he was allergic to dogs but an allergy skin prick test showed he was not allergic to dogs and his application was refused.

The court fined Akin £165 and ordered him to pay IBC’s costs of £1,233.50 as well as a £15 victim surcharge.

Related articles

A former Suffolk school pupil has been called up to represent England’s under-20s team in two major international competitions.

Two brothers have been ordered to carry out unpaid work for possessing an air gun in public.

Women’s rights campaigner Helen Taylor, 46, founded Suffolk’s first feminist society in 2016. Reporter Gemma Mitchell has caught up with her to gain her views on gender inequality and how to tackle it.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust is seeking the services of a special volunteer – one who isn’t afraid of the dark.

Hopes of developing through rail services between Ipswich and the south west of England are still being considered – despite fears that a new cross-country rail link may only be for commuter services.

Much of the area of Ipswich, bound by Cauldwell Hall Road, Woodbridge Road and Foxhall Road, is part of the town developed by the Suffolk Freehold Land Society.

The proposed merger of Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils may have been put back by the promise of a referendum in south Suffolk – but the consultation on the future of the authorities continues.

Forecasters have warned of strong winds of around 65mph that are expected to sweep into the county this evening, as a wet and windy night is expected to continue into the morning.

The award-winning writer and star of TV comedy Detectorists has spoken of his love for the “beautiful” Suffolk town where it was filmed and his “mixed emotions” over fans’ reaction to its ending.

Do you remember when The Bobby Charlton Soccer School made a trip to Ipswich over 35 years ago to hold a session at Thurleston High School.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24