Wigan taxi boss fails to get his licence back

Wigan and Leigh Courthouse
Wigan and Leigh Courthouse

A Wigan man’s appeal to the courts against a council decision to ban him from holding a private hire driver’s licence has failed.

Hossein Ghorbani, from Aspull, applied to Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court to have the revocation of his right to be involved in the industry reversed.

However, the bench decided to uphold the original decision made by the local authority, leaving Ghorbani with a hefty legal bill.

The town hall’s regulation committee acted after complaints were received about 41-year-old Ghorbani, of St David’s Crescent.

After hearing the appeal, which lasted over two days, the magistrates concluded Ghorbani had “acted in an unnecessary, foul and abusive manner towards the complainant, and also that his behaviour was intimidating and threatening”.

The bench noted he had apologised for his conduct but stated they still had “great concern about his behaviour and found that he was not a fit and proper person” to hold a private hire driver’s licence.

Ghorbani has emphatically denied any wrongdoing throughout the long legal proceedings involving him and still maintained his innocence after the latest hearing, saying he intends to take the decision and the council’s conduct to a higher court and the watchdog.

An order was made in court for Ghorbani to pay Wigan Council’s costs, which ran to £3,450, within 28 days.

Julie Middlehurst, service manager for regulatory services at Wigan Council, said: “We expect all of our drivers to be courteous and to act in a professional manner at all times.

“Public safety is our primary concern and when we are made aware of behaviour which is completely unacceptable, we will take the necessary action against the individual concerned.

“We are pleased that the decision made by the committee has been upheld by magistrates.”

Allegations were initially made about Ghorbani acting threateningly and aggressively towards black cab drivers in Wigan town centre last year.

He was also previously the subject of lengthy proceedings in both the magistrates and crown courts over his old firm Crusader Cabs being served enforcement and stop notices over running a taxi business from a Wallgate shop without the necessary permissions.

Following the latest verdict against him, though, he went on a blistering attack against those who have brought or pursued the allegations against him.

He also said he intends to take his treatment by the local authority further, alleging Wigan Council singled him out for particularly heavy-handed treatment.

Ghorbani said: “The court did not take any of my evidence into account.

“I’m going to take this to the crown court and I’m going to the ombudsman as well. It’s bullying, the system and the people. I’m not going to leave it like this.

“I’ve done nothing wrong. They are just bringing things against me, bringing all these stories about me.

“I’ve been driving for more than 10 years and never had one complaint made about me.

“At the end of the day I have to accept this is not my country. I’m a foreigner here.”