When he tried to get home, he found that several savvy cabbies completely ignored his pleas for a ride home as he admitted that he had no cash to pay with. Unfortunately, Craig Phipps was more generous and he gave Provan a lift in the understanding that Phipps would pay the money when he arrived at his destination. The fare passed off without any incident but when Provan got home, he came out with a large kitchen knife.
Bizarrely, Provan was also holding £10 in his hand which was obviously for the fare. He held up the knife and said he would not give the driver the cash. He then proceeded to throw the money on the ground and he said that he would kill the driver. Provan has previous convictions and told the cabbie that he would have no problem going back to jail. He demanded the rest of the taxi driver’s takings before throwing down the knife and running away. Provan picked up the knife which is just as well because Provan returned to the scene twice more.
His convictions are widespread and many of them are serious. For example, he has been convicted of assault, theft and assaulting a police officer, violent disorder and two convictions for robbery. Georgina Buckley was representing Provan and claimed his difficulties made it easy to explain his odd behaviour. Buckley said that Provan was training to be a real estate agent and had kicked his drug habit.
Yet the recorder was not in a lenient mood. He accused Provan of wasting his opportunity in life and stated that the convicted man would continue to pose a significant threat to the public in future. He handed down a 5 year sentence while also ensuring that Provan will serve another 5 years on license upon his release.
He was arrested after an incident on 27 January 2012 when it was reported that a young woman was sexually assaulted in the back of a car. It turned out that the victim entered the taxi of Hristov in Hereford’s Commercial Street with a female friend. The duo had been enjoying a night out in the city. The victim’s friend got out at Grandstand Road and the cab continued towards the victim’s home.
However, Hristov had other ideas and drove the taxi into a secluded spot just off the Kings Acre Road. There, he proceeded to attack the woman in the back of his taxi before sexually assaulting her and bringing her home. The woman told her friend what had happened and the police were called. An investigation was launched and specially trained officers worked to support the victim.
Thanks to a thorough examination of the city’s CCTV, the woman was identified getting into a cab. Hristov was tracked down and arrested five days later and charged. The trial at Hereford Crown Court lasted 8 days and Hristov was found guilty. Judge Toby Hooper QC described the offender as ‘dangerous and calculated’ before sentencing him to a minimum of 13 years in prison. He also praised the police force for their work.
Martyn Barnes was the Detective Inspector on the case and he was determined to catch the perpetrator. He believes that the sentence is an accurate representation of the crime’s seriousness. He described Hristov as a dangerous individual who acted as a predator in order to find a helpless victim who he took advantage of in the most foul way. Barnes saluted the victim for her courage but warned that the crime had left an indelible mark on her. He said that she had remained strong and dignified throughout the proceedings and was keen to prevent other women from suffering the same fate at the hands of Hristov.
Once they were sure that it was indeed a forgery, the police were called and Hussain was arrested. Peter Cooper was the prosecutor and told the Crown Court at Stoke-on-Trent that Hussain was clearly trying to deceive bank officials. When in custody, Hussain tried to get out of trouble by saying that the photograph he used was of his brother.
However, his luck was out when an expert was called in and confirmed that it was a fake. Hussain then tried to claim that he was only trying to open an account for someone else and that he told the bank clerk his real name. He denied charges of possessing an identification document with improper intention but despite his protestations, Hussain was found guilty by a jury last week.
Paul Glenn is the judge in the case and is looking for a report to be filed on Hussain before a further judgement is made. Judge Glenn admitted that Hussain is likely to be sentenced to further custody and also ordered the guilty party to stay in custody until the report is filed because he believes there is a serious risk of Hussain fleeing if released.
A J&P Driver picks Rhys up from a primary school in Markse and brings him to a nursery in Redcar until Kimberley comes and collects him. Around two weeks ago, Kimberley said that Rhys was left with the teachers at his school for more than 30 minutes because a taxi they had booked did not turn up. Yet on 27 November, a scary Tuesday afternoon for Kimberley, she arrived at the nursery only to find that her son had been left outside all by himself. The tearful mother said that it could easily have been the last day she ever saw her son and is fuming at the lack of care shown by the J&P cab driver.
According to Kimberley, Rhys told her that the driver on that day dropped him off and simply drove away without bothering to see if anyone collected him. Fortunately, Rhys was clever enough to go to the door of the nursery and a staff member let him in. The nursery manager confirmed the story and said that a staff member had heard a knock on the door and found Rhys outside by himself.
Each week, Kimberley goes into the taxi firm, books the days Rhys needs in advance and pays the money up front. The agreement is that the cab driver picks up Rhys, signs for him and takes him safely to the nursery staff. Kimberley described the conduct of the cab driver as ‘disgusting’. She said that J&P Taxis were picked because all drivers have a stringent Criminal Record Background (CRB) check performed. She said that she trusted them with her son only to find that he was dumped on the side of the road. Kimberley also complained that she has not heard from the firm’s manager despite contacting him several days ago.
She continued by saying that she didn’t complain the previous week when they failed to show up at the school at all. According to Kimberley, staff at J&P apologised for that incident and claimed Rhys would be a ‘high priority’ fare only to be let down badly. Since the incident, a nursery member has picked Rhys up from the school. The owner of J&P Taxis has thus far refused to comment.
The accident happened just before 2am last Sunday and the police are appealing for witnesses that can describe what happened. The young woman was travelling from Thorne town centre to her home in Moorends. The taxi slowed down to take a bend but the women fell through the sliding door on the driver’s side. The Passat was travelling behind the taxi and decided to overtake it since the VW driver believed that the cab driver was slowing down to make a stop. However, the VW driver’s actions inadvertently resulted in the woman being run over by the vehicle.
The real problem was that the woman became trapped under the VW Passat and the car had to be lifted in order for her to be released. She was rushed to hospital where it was found that she had major head injuries and back and neck fractures. If you were witness to this accident, please contact the police as soon as possible.
The issue was raised at a council taxi licensing committee meeting in Derby and an investigation was carried out. However, the report stated that the allegations were completely lacking foundation. Yet Javed Khan of the local Operator’s Association believes that the complaints of cab drivers are valid. He said that officers stop the cars and take them off the road for minor issues that would cause absolutely no risk or danger to any members of the public.
He pointed out that being told to get new paintwork done requires cabbies to take their cars to a garage which costs them money in costs and loss of earnings. He has even heard of drivers going to a licensed testing station, get examined and drive away only to get stopped by an officer who says the car isn’t fit for purpose.
The council responded by saying it does not get involved with approved testing stations as the examinations of the vehicles are carried out on their behalf. Taxi drivers also state that the standards are completely different from one station to the next. Yet council officers are adamant that these allegations are not supported by evidence.
Almost 220 taxis out of a fleet of 1160 were tested over six months where it was found that 63 were unfit for the road and the drivers had their licenses suspended. Councillor Paul Pegg, who also works on the taxi licensing committee as vice-chairman, said that he had complete confidence in the report. He says that officers have to do their job and the council have a duty of care to the general public. He does not believe that the officers are unfairly causing cabs to get taken off the road and stated that they are there to protect the public.
Pegg wished to point out that councils such as Chester and Liverpool were far stricter when it comes to their inspections. He is confident that Derby is no stricter than other councils and may actually be more lenient in some cases. The report’s findings will be discussed at a meeting while Javed Khan believes that there will be a large number of drivers there to express their concerns.
Judge Phillip Richards described Rehman’s conduct as intolerable and handed down a 15 year sentence for intent to cause GBH and another 12 years for attempted GBH. In addition Rehman received 16 months for dangerous driving. The sentences are to be served concurrently. Oddly, he was also disqualified from driving for 10 years. One would imagine that this should have been a lifetime ban given the severity of the crime.
The incident happened outside Cardiff Central Station on 27 March 2012. An argument began between the cabbie and railway workers. It is believed that a physical altercation took place and the railway workers eventually left the scene. However, Rehman snapped, got into his cab, ran through a red light and smashed into the six railway workers, hitting another two innocent pedestrians.
One of these pedestrians, Mark Underwood, got trapped beneath the cab and suffered terrible burns from being stuck to the heated car engine. He still requires regular treatment today. Rehman claimed that the men assaulted him so he used the cab in self-defence. The judge did not accept this as any kind of excuse and explained that a punch cannot be met with this level of force. Judge Phillips pointed out that a punch to the chest is a relatively minor offence and does not warrant retaliation of this nature. For his act of madness, Rehman will spend a long period of time in prison where he can reflect on his hot-headedness.
Despite their support for the idea, 50% of drivers don’t want cameras to be compulsory and 75% don’t want to pay for it. The president of the local Taxi Drivers association, Dave Clift, said that he has had CCTV in his taxi for a long time and has found it to be a very effective tool. He stated that video evidence can be used in court cases and investigations by the police and that CCTV provides peace of mind for both driver and passenger. Yet Clift believes that each driver should be allowed to make the choice without being forced into it.
CCTV has become popular in cabs worldwide as it has found to be a great way to settle disputes. A CCTV system records passengers in the back seat and the driver while also picking up sound. 66% of taxi drivers stated that CCTV would add an element of safety to their job. Yet a little over 20% of drivers in the survey of 142 drivers said that they would be willing to pay for it themselves.
Tino Callaghan has been driving for over 30 years in Southend and was the first driver in the area to install CCTV cameras. Callaghan now sells devices to other cabbies, charging around £300. He installed his system in 2000 and says that drivers in nations such as Hong Kong and South Korea have embraced the advent of CCTV cameras. He says that the idea is finally catching on in Britain and believes that the cameras are worth the price for the service they provide.
A number of councils in the UK have already made CCTV cameras compulsory for cab drivers. A spokesperson for Southend Council claims that there are no plans for compulsory installation of cameras at this time. However, it is something that may be implemented in years to come.
Taxi drivers in Consett can now contact Project Genesis CCTV operators via walkie-talkie. These operators will then use their cameras to zoom in on trouble spots and gain video evidence of any crimes being committed. It is believed that this partnership could initially increase the number of prosecutions and ultimately reduce the area’s crime rate. The police and taxi drivers have decided to act because there have been a number of violent attacks outside Consett nightclubs and bars in the last few years along with an increase in the number of drunken disturbances.
According to Scott Ruddick of the local police force, cab drivers will act as an extra pair of eyes and ears on the Consett streets to help police find suspects on CCTV and enable them to quickly locate perpetrators of crimes. He emphasised the fact that cabbies must not act as heroes and attempt to stop an assault or other criminal activity. Their role is to point police in the right direction.
There are five main taxi firms in Consett and only A1 Cabs has decided not to participate. The owner of Jackson’s cab firm, Mandy Scott, believes that this initiative will lower the rate of crime in particular areas of Consett which is why her drivers were keen to help. She says that the cooperation of the drivers will ensure that criminals are caught much faster.
It is also hoped that this police link will also reduce the number of attacks on cab drivers. Jim McGuigan is an experienced taxi driver and is delighted to be part of the plan. He believes that it will reduce the crime rate and thinks it is necessary because he knows that a lot of criminal activity takes place at the weekend. Although he said major issues rarely happen, he is still in favour of the plan because it will help taxi drivers.
The woman took note of the car’s registration number and called the police. They soon located Smith and arrested him. David Bennett was the prosecutor and said that Smith refused to answer any questions put to him by the police. Although the woman did not pick Smith out of a line-up, his DNA was found at the scene. After another interview, Smith admitted having a sex act performed on him by the woman but claimed that she gave the money back to him without being asked. Smith was jailed for 7 months for the theft.
The incident with the prostitute happened on 22 May this year and within a few weeks, Smith was in trouble again. On 6 June, Smith robbed taxi driver Mohammed Shazad. After admitting this crime, he was given another 18 months in jail. Smith paid Shazad £15 to take him home shortly after 4am after a night out. When they got close to the location, Smith fooled the driver by directing him to a cul-de-sac. At this point, he claimed that the fare should only have been £8.
Before Shazad could respond, Smith hit him on the side of the head and stole the cabbie’s takings bag which contained approximately £80. Within hours, the police found Smith at home and arrested him, recovering around half of the money immediately. Anis Ali was defending Smith and claimed that his client had shown genuine remorse for his actions.
According to Ali, Smith is a young man that had the courage to accept that he had made mistakes. Ali continued by saying that 20 year old Smith has endured countless problems over the course of his young life and suffers from learning and behavioural difficulties. Ali also pointed out that no one was seriously hurt during the offences. Despite this plea and the fact that Smith has a young son, he was given a total of 25 months for his crimes. This is probably due to the fact that he has 25 previous convictions. Almost 2 months of the sentence has already been served as Smith was in remand for that length of time.