Winchester taxi driver loses appeal due to ‘inappropriate’ behaviour

A WINCHESTER taxi driver has lost an appeal to reinstate his license and must pay £12,500 in costs after he touched a woman ‘inappropriately’.

Ashfaq Ur-Rehman appeared at Winchester Crown Court on December 12 in a two-day tribunal.

He was appealing Winchester City Council’s decision to revoke his Hackney Carriage Licence, following allegations made by a woman.

The court heard that Mr Ur-Rehman, of Willis Road, Southampton, disputed the reasons behind revoking his license.

Ethu Crorie, barrister for the woman complainant, said that Mr Ur-Rehman had touched her in a sexual way, used inappropriate words and drove too fast.

The court heard on one occasion in autumn 2020 he touched her thigh.

She said: “He leaned over to grab my leg. His hand grabbed my leg and I got out of the car. I told him he would never touch me again, I shouted. I then got into another vehicle for sanctuary.

“It was inappropriate behavior, I didn’t want to be there.”

She told the court that Mr Ur-Rehman made comments such as ‘you look lovely today’ and ‘you look so fresh’.

She said she had taken photos of him speeding but had subsequently deleted them.

Mr Crorie asked Mr Ur-Rehman about a form he had filled in when applying to Winchester City Council to renew his license in 2012. In the form, he failed to disclose a caution he had received in 2007.

The court also heard about previous complaints relating to Mr Ur-Rehman. They included a ‘fracas’ with another taxi driver in 2014 and overcharging a customer by 60p in 2015.

Jason Cross, barrister for Mr Ur-Rehman, said that Mr Ur-Rehman had been a taxi driver since 1997 and that English was not his first language.

His wife Maniza Ur-Rehman described her husband as a ‘caring and helpful person’ and said her husband would be unable to hold a conversation with the complainant due to his poor English.

Recorder Charles Langley found that Mr Ur-Rehman did touch the respondent’s thigh and make inappropriate comments. However, he found that there was no evidence of speeding, but that he did jump a red light on one occasion.

Mr Langley said: “He knew he did not have an exemplary record.”

As well as the unsuccessful appeal, the court ruled that Mr Ur-Rehman pay costs of £12,500 in favor of the city council within six months.

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