Drunken row cab driver Martin Lambert stripped of licence
A TAXI driver has been stripped of his licence after he was convicted of being drunk and disorderly on a night out with friends.
Self-employed private-hire driver Martin Lambert, 38, accepts he was in the wrong for drunkenly rowing with another cabbie.
But he says Hull City Council's licensing department have been "heavy-handed" for depriving him of his livelihood.
Mr Lambert said: "If I had been convicted of drink- driving or anything involving violence or dishonesty I would fully understand the committee's decision to revoke my licence.
CAR KEYS AND REMOTES "FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY" 01482 423414 ...View details
FOR ALL YOUR CAR KEY NEEDS CALL US NOW ON
SNAPPED KEYS, LOST KEYS, KEYS LOCKED IN VEHICLES,
WE ALSO REPAIR 90% OF ALL REMOTES AND KEYS, NO FIX NO CHARGE.
Terms: FREE REMOTE KEY FOB BATTERY ONE PER CUSTOMER
Contact: 01482 423414
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"But I was not behind a wheel. I was on foot in Hull city centre on a night out with friends."
Mr Lambert, whose partner is six months pregnant, admits he stumbled in front of a taxi, due to being drunk.
He said: "I then gobbed off at the taxi driver, which I should not have done. The taxi stopped and we had a bit of an argument – all verbal, nothing physical.
"The next thing I knew, two police officers who had seen it turned up.
"I swore at one of the officers, which again I should not have done, and I was arrested for being drunk and disorderly."
Mr Lambert, of west Hull, was taken to Queens Garden Police Station, city centre, where he spent ten hours sobering-up.
He was charged the following morning with being drunk and disorderly, an offence under section 91 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967.
Mr Lambert was summoned to appear before city magistrates, who fined him £85. He was also given a 12-month conditional discharge.
"I owned up to everything I did and I thought that would be the end of the matter," said Mr Lambert.
"But a few days later I received a letter from the licensing committee telling me the police had informed them of my conviction and asked me to attend an interview."
Mr Lambert attended the hearing at the Guildhall and received a second letter informing him of the committee's decision.
In the letter, a Hull City Council manager said: "I refer to the interview of September 10.
"The licensing committee has decided to revoke your private hire licence on the grounds that there is reasonable cause owing to the nature of your conviction for being drunk and disorderly."
Mr Lambert was given 21 days to appeal the decision, but missed the October 1 deadline.
He said: "I now have no means to earn money with a child on the way.
"To me, it seems ridiculous that someone can lose his licence for a conviction that had nothing to do with the job they do."
Councillor Nadine Fudge, chairman of the licensing committee, said: "A private hire driver is a notifiable occupation and the police inform the licensing authority if a currently licensed driver has committed any offences and convictions.
"We are unable to talk about the details of the renewal of an individual's licence but we can confirm that after discussing this case the committee felt it was necessary to revoke Mr Lambert's licence in the interest of public safety.
"So far as the authority is aware no appeal has been made to Hull Magistrates' Court against the decision of the committee within the statutory period."