Lapsed licence is costly

A man was ordered to pay more than £1,000 in costs and fine after admitting driving a private hire vehicle (PHV) without the correct licence.

On Wednesday (15 June), Frank Bennett, of Laird Avenue, Grays, appeared before magistrates in Basildon.

The court heard that in September last year he had applied to Thurrock Council for the renewal of his PHV licence when it became apparent the licence had lapsed in the previous February.

As a result licensing officers attended the Z Carz business premises and obtained a record of all private hire work carried out by the vehicle during this period. The print out was 65 pages long and revealed that during the 225 days the vehicle was used on 186 — on some days as many as 46 times.

Mr Bennett wrote to the council apologising for the oversight and later admitted under caution that he was the operator of the business, the person in charge and that the vehicle had been used as a PHV without a licence.

The offence was not committed deliberately, but Mr Bennett accepted that he was the operator and thus person responsible for the offence.

Bennett was fined £350 and ordered to pay a £15 Victim Surcharge and full costs of £822,

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