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Taxi driver prosecuted for smoking


Colin James
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Is it me or have they got nothing better to do? I have heard of lessor sentences handed out for much more serious crimes and I am not a smoker. Seems a little harsh to me.

 

no-smoking.png

 

A Hereford taxi driver has been prosecuted for smoking in his cab. Tony Hodson, a taxi driver licensed by Herefordshire Council, pleaded guilty to the offence at Hereford Magistrates’ Court yesterday. The offence was reported by an off-duty council officer who drove past the taxi on Edgar Street in August last year.

 

The taxi driver was awarded a six-month conditional discharge, and was required to pay £250 towards the council’s court costs. He was unrepresented and did not make any comments about the offence, other than to say that he felt the costs were excessive.

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Is it me or have they got nothing better to do? I have heard of lessor sentences handed out for much more serious crimes and I am not a smoker.

 

The actual sentence is a 6 month conditional discharge. Which means he has zero punishment if he keeps his nose clean for 6 months. It's virtually as low as it gets. Other than an absolute discharge. 

 

The £250 costs do seem high as the case sounds as simple as could be. One witness. No massive enquiry to undertake and you could probably read and digest the case file in 2 minutes.

 

I see a fella got sentenced to a conditional discharge on 19th February at the same court (link) for a fighting related incident. He had to pay £135 costs. All a bit random as to what costs are awarded it would appear.

 

I see the informant for this smoking offence was an off duty Council employee. I wonder if you would get a court case if it was just a general shopper having a moan? Why was the Council person so aggrieved that they felt that they had to make it all official ? 

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By the way ....

 

The Council operate a taxi  penalty point scheme where a driver gets hauled up before the Regulatory Committee if they hit 12 Council points in a 12 month period. Getting caught smoking in the cab is a 4 point offence. So you should be able to get caught smoking twice and still avoid an appearance before The Council.

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The actual sentence is a 6 month conditional discharge. Which means he has zero punishment if he keeps his nose clean for 6 months. It's virtually as low as it gets. Other than an absolute discharge. 

 

The £250 costs do seem high as the case sounds as simple as could be. One witness. No massive enquiry to undertake and you could probably read and digest the case file in 2 minutes.

 

I see a fella got sentenced to a conditional discharge on 19th February at the same court (link) for a fighting related incident. He had to pay £135 costs. All a bit random as to what costs are awarded it would appear.

 

I see the informant for this smoking offence was an off duty Council employee. I wonder if you would get a court case if it was just a general shopper having a moan? Why was the Council person so aggrieved that they felt that they had to make it all official ? 

 

You have to be pretty sad to go to the lengths of a court case, oh well it takes all sorts

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I had only just read this article, so you beat me to it. You could not make it up, the system is not consistent at all and needs a complete review in my opinion.

 

This man who was ALREADY on a conditional discharge from last year gets fined £30 for stealing meat and £30 for breach of is CD, how is this consistent? 

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This man who was ALREADY on a conditional discharge from last year gets fined £30 for stealing meat and £30 for breach of is CD, how is this consistent? 

 

The chap in that Aldi meat case obviously likes meat. This is him in a 2009 case in a Somerset court.

 

Warren John Jewell, 38, of Moorland Road, Bridgwater, stole meat from Sainsbury’s, community order with 120-day curfew from 7pm to 7am; £43 costs (G); breached conditional discharge, re-sentenced for original offence of damaging property, community order with 120-day curfew.

 

 

It's quite clear that petty thieving really is quite a good way of offending as nothing really happens if you get caught. In fact it seems that the more you get caught the less and less the punishments become. What you have to be really careful about is not getting caught for litter/smoking offences as the magistrates throw the book at you. Or for minor motoring offences as well .... 

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Well researched Roger - just shows that it appears that the Courts and this Council grab easy money .

 

The taxi driver was used as a cash cow to subsidise the running of the court system ~ in my opinion. Same as the hard up woman who conned Hereford Asda out of £75 worth of food with a gift card she got by returning stuff she had never bought.

 

She's obviously got little money or no money so the court let her off. But she had to pay £100 to keep the lights on at the court. 

 

HT

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You are better off being a thieving drug addict another slap on the wrist. 

 

Yeah .... Good job she wasn't caught smoking in the wrong place or littering .... Otherwise that would have landed her in some serious bother ...

 

I think they probably let her off this meat theft as she probably hasn't paid off her fines from her last appearance at the same court three months ago. Where she was sentenced for doing the same sort of thing at a different shop. Link. In fact she's still on a community order for pulling that stunt. Whatever one of those is ...

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