Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

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

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

2 comments

  • What about attempting to pevert the course of justice by lying to get an exemption at a later date.

    Report this comment

    threenewknees

    Friday, March 1, 2013

  • I think the taxi driver although wrong in the eyes of the law should have every right to determine who or what should be allowed in his taxi. If he has leather seats then the dog claws could potentially riptear them. Would the owner of the dogs compensate him for the damage. Im sorry but I have to agree with the taxi driver on this. Common sense prevails. The law is wrong on this occasion and the judge should have seen sense. Shocking to think that the taxi company took him to court over it via IBC who could have lost the case and cost the public a lot of money.

    Report this comment

    Johnsons

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Dementia friendly pub, the Hadleigh Ram

A Hadleigh pub has been rewarded for its efforts to become accessible to all by being named the first dementia friendly restaurant in the town.

Eastbound A14 traffic near the Copdock junction. Image: Keith Mindham

Drivers are currently experiencing long delays after a car crashed into the central reservation on the A14 eastbound at Nacton this evening.

Suffolk Police PCSOs (stock picture)

Two new PCSOs will be patrolling the streets of Bury St Edmunds from next January in a new step for local policing.

File picture of a car fire.

Firefighters were called to reports of three cars alight at a garage in Ipswich.

Andy Beckwith

A former Essex man who went missing in Gibraltar has been found “in good health”, police have said.

Police at the Ipswich v Norwich derby.

Suffolk Constabulary has yet to confirm it will have a presence at Ipswich Town games this season - including the potentially powderkeg Old Farm Derby.

A motorist involved in a crash on the A14 in which a teenager died will live with the “huge remorse” for the rest of his life, a court has heard.

Relax and unwind

When the weather is as glorious as this, you want to do nothing more than sit back and relax.

St Helena Hospice assistant nurse Emma Young reduced staff and patients to tears in Colchester after performing Adele's Make You Feel My Love. Pic: St Helena Hospice.

A video of an assistant nurse performing an Adele song at a Colchester hospice has gone viral.

Hugh O'Neill, headteacher of St Benedict's School, Bury St Edmunds.

Turbulent times are ahead for Bury St Edmunds schools with “chaos” predicted as the two and three-tier systems compete against each other.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24