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Taxi driver told to pay more than £9,000 in costs after losing council appeal

A taxi driver in Kent has been ordered to pay more than £9,000 in costs after losing an appeal against a council’s decision to suspend his licence.

Raymond Gomes bought an appeal against Sevenoaks District Council after its licensing sub-committee made a decision last year to suspend his hackney carriage drivers' licence.

Following the decision Gomes' licence was suspended between 2 February and 18 April this year.

On Friday 18 December the Central Kent Magistrates' Court dismissed his appeal and found in favour of Sevenoaks.

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The court heard that between March 2014 and November 2014 the council received 12 complaints from other Hackney carriage drivers citing various allegations of improper behaviour.

Following these complaints Gomes was invited to attend a licensing hearing on 2 February where the committee heard evidence against him as well as hearing evidence from Gomes himself, his solicitor and other witnesses.

As a result of this meeting Gomes' licence was suspended for a period of 10 weeks until 18 April 2015.

The Central Kent Magistrates’ Court found that having heard all the evidence it was satisfied that the sub-committee's decision to suspend Gomes' licence was correct and that his behaviour was sufficient to cause distress to members of the public and he was therefore not at that time a fit and proper person to hold a taxi licence.

As well as losing the appeal Gomes was also ordered to pay costs of £9,425.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Sevenoaks’ Leader, said: "I'm pleased the court agreed with our initial decision. We take complaints very seriously and it is important residents and workers feel happy with any service provided to them within the district and this is why the sub-committee suspended his hackney carriage licence."

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