A TAXI driver who illegally picked up a fare in Barnsley has been fined.

Yasser Hussain, 31, of Aldred Street, Rotherham, appeared at Barnsley Magistrates Court on Monday (January 22) where he pleaded not guilty to the offence under the Town, Police and Clauses Act 1847, Section 45 – plying for hire without a Hackney Carriage proprietors’ licence.

The charge relates to a fare he picked up earlier this month from Eldon Street's Hackney Taxi Rank.

The court was told that the starting price of the fare was £2.50 - usally £3.10. When the customer queried this, Hussain said that the fares were all the same.

The customer went on to end the journey early as the fare had increased more than normal price.

As she left the taxi she noted down the Sheffield driver’s and the vehicle’s licensing number plates, as well as the vehicle registration number.

Following an investigation by the council’s licensing officers, it emerged Hussain was licenced with Sheffield City Council and worked as a private hire driver for City Taxis in Sheffield - therefore not licensed to work in Barnsley.

Mr Hussain denied the charge and claimed the customer was mistaken and had written the registration number down incorrectly. However, data obtained from City Taxis of Sheffield showed that the driver had been given a job from Sheffield train station to Barnsley train station.

GPS data obtained from Sheffield City Taxis showed the driver’s route and that he had been in the vicinity of the of the Hackney Rank on Eldon Street at the time the customer was picked up.

Hussain was given a £150 fine and ordered to pay £500 and £30 victim surcharge.