Eastleigh Borough Council has prosecuted a fake cab driver who was pretending to be a licensed private hire taxi driver. The bogus cab driver Dennis Hewlett was caught using chequered stickers to trick potential customers of thinking that they are riding in a private hire vehicle. He was also using no-smoking signs in the front windows of his dark-blue Vauxhall Zafira.
The fake cabbie was caught in a joint sting operation between Southampton City Council and Eastleigh Borough Council; the arrest was made when he picked up two people outside Boomerang bar in Hamble who turned out to be council licensing agents.
The pair of agents approached Hewlett in his fake taxi and the end, the driver, also gave them a business card after charging the fare. He was then contacted by a third council agent who was following them in another vehicle.
The sentencing of Dennis Hewlett was adjourned until the next month to collect some more information regarding the case. On the other hand, Eastleigh Borough Council also successfully prosecuted a licensed private hire driver who was illegally plying for hire from a taxi rank. The court ordered the driver Shaun Scott to pay £2,000 in terms of fine and legal costs.
According to the law, the private-hire vehicle journeys must be pre-booked, while Hackney Carriages can pick up passengers from streets and taxi ranks.