Rogue cabbie fined in court

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AN ILLEGAL taxi driver who picked up fares in Barnsley has been landed with a bill for £600 and had eight penalty points added to his licence.

Stephen Falkingham, aged 51, of Post Office Cottages, Sheffield Road, Oxspring, was caught in an undercover operation mounted by Barnsley Council after officers received complaints from taxi drivers fed up with unlicensed drivers taking business.

He was caught after enforcement staff booked Falkingham for a journey from Penistone town centre to Cubley Hall.

He was confronted by officers at the end of the journey and confessed to working illegally.

He pleaded guilty at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court to driving an unlicensed private hire vehicle for hire and reward, not having a private hire driver’s licence, operating as a private hire operator without the requisite licence, and driving without valid insurance.

Falkingham was fined £200, had his licence endorsed with eight points, and was ordered to pay £400 towards costs.