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Taxi driver prosecuted for refusing guide dog

A private hire taxi driver has been prosecuted for refusing to allow a guide dog into his vehicle.

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Article date: 20 December 2023

Responding to a complaint from a member of the public, St Helens Borough Council's licensing department filed a case against Florin-Constantin Caliman for failure to carry a disabled person who was accompanied by an assistance dog under the provisions of The Equality Act 2010. 

After pleading guilty at Liverpool Magistrates Court, Mr Constantin Caliman of Alfred Street, Wigan, was ordered to pay an £80 fine, £120 in costs and a £32 victim surcharge. 

Welcoming the outcome, Councillor Kate Grocutt, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Economy, Business and Skills, said:  

"The main duty of the licensing authority is public safety. The council takes its public protection role very seriously and is aware that disabled people are particularly reliant on taxi and private hire vehicle services. 

"Assistance dogs are vital to their owners' safety and licensed drivers are required under the Equality Act 2010 to carry assistance dogs with their owners.  

"The council will not hesitate to take robust action when required to investigate and prosecute licensees in response to cases of discrimination to ensure that all operators and licensed drivers treat their role in providing an inclusive service seriously."