Bogus Bognor taxi driver fined by magistrates

A Bognor Regis bogus taxi driver has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 in fines and court costs.

Krzysztof Pietruszewski was convicted in his absence at Worthing Magistrates’ Court of driving a licensed vehicle as a hackney carriage driver without holding the required licence.

Pietruszewski, 28, of Gordon Avenue, was caught acting as a taxi driver in Arun in July after a member of the public reported seeing him driving a licensed taxi around the town.

Pietruszewski had applied to the council for a licence but had failed to provide all the relevant documents required of him for a hackney carriage driver’s licence to be granted.

This included paperwork for a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure to be carried out.

Magistrates fined him £600 and ordered him to pay £1,717 in court costs. He failed to appear at court and had offered no plea or mitigation to the charges.

Arun District Council’s cabinet member, Cllr Paul Dendle, who has responsibility for licensing, said: “The council works hard with the taxi trade to maintain good standards of safety and protection of the customers.

“We would urge residents to only use licensed taxis for their own safety.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure dangerous and irresponsible behaviour does not threaten either the public or, indeed, the honest and law abiding taxi professionals who provide a good service to the community and will prosecute people who we find to be breaking the law.”

Pietruszewski was convicted in his absence on December 6, 2011. He was given six weeks to ask for the case to be re-heard but failed to do this.