Ipswich taxi driver’s carriage licence could be in jeopardy after being caught smoking for third time in his vehicle

Taxi driver's carriage licence could be in jeopardy

Taxi driver's carriage licence could be in jeopardy - Credit: PA

A taxi driver’s carriage licence could be in jeopardy after he was caught smoking in his vehicle for the third time.

Andrew Slinn, of Swansea Avenue, Ipswich, had denied smoking in a smoke-free place when he elected to stand trial before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

However, magistrates found in favour of Ipswich Borough Council, which brought the prosecution.

The authority has said it felt it had no option but to pursue the case after the 62-year-old Slinn was warned about the same offence in 2011 and then convicted at flouting the law for a second time in 2013.

It was alleged Slinn was seen in his Vauxhall outside the entrance to Ipswich Hospital on February 5.

At the time his vehicle was stationary, however it is designated a smoke-free zone by law.

Slinn was seen smoking inside the vehicle by an employee from a neighbouring authority.

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The employee took a note of his details and reported Slinn to Ipswich Borough Council, which then began court proceedings.

The council said that Slinn had claimed he had been smoking an electronic cigarette.

After the case a spokesman for the borough council said it will now consider Slinn’s future in regards to him being a licensed taxi driver.

The authority also warned others in taxis who flout the smoking laws that, although it was a last resort, it would not hesitate to pursue further prosecutions if it deemed them necessary.

The spokesman said: “The borough council will now consider Mr Slinn’s future in relation to his taxi driver’s licence.

“It could now be in jeopardy as the council will consider what action it will be taking as a result of this conviction.

“This case illustrates that Ipswich Borough Council takes the law regarding to smoking in taxis very seriously and if all other efforts fail to deter someone from doing so we will not hesitate to purse a prosecution through the courts. “

Slinn declined to comment when approached after the hearing.