From the LEP
A taxi driver who ploughed his cab into a young couple in a row over a fare has been allowed to keep his licence – despite being convicted of assault.
Attiq Ur-Rahman, 33, mounted the pavement and pinned 19-year-olds Edward Holden and Rachel Botes to a barbed wire fence.
Hackney cab driver Ur-Rahman, of Nevett Street, Callon, denied assault but was found guilty at Preston Magistrates’ Court and ordered to do 150 hours’ unpaid work and pay £300 costs.
But it has emerged that Ur-Rahman will still be able to work Preston’s streets until his fate is decided at a council meeting on September 10 –more than a month after he was convicted.
Today, Edward – who, like Rachel, suffered bruises to his legs in the cab rage incident – blasted the decision and said: “We can’t believe it. He is driving the same cab he used as a weapon against us and is allowed to continue driving it. It is dangerous to the public.”
Edward had hailed Ur-Rahman’s taxi from outside Yates’s at about 12.15am on New Year’s Day. He was going back to his home in Woodlands Way in Barton, stopping to pick up Rachel who had been at a party with friends in Cottam.
Nightclub promoter Edward said: “I got in a taxi and agreed a set price of £25. We picked my girlfriend up and drove to Barton.
“When we got near Broughton traffic lights, the meter was on £26 and he started tapping on it and asking for more money. I said we had agreed a set price.”
But Ur-Rahman stopped the cab on the corner of the A6 just after the sign for Barton.
Edward said: “We were in the middle of nowhere, it was dark and wet and my girlfriend had high heels on.
“He was asking me for more money. We were just dumped at the side of the road.
“Then he revved his engine, went up the kerb and ran into us, pinning us into the fence. He did it with such force the fence broke. My girlfriend was in hysterics. We were in shock. We had bruises all the way up our legs.”
Four witnesses on the other side of the road saw what had happened and Edward got their names and phoned the police. He also made a mental note of the driver’s number written inside the cab.
Edward added: “We always use black cabs thinking it’s the safest thing to do but obviously, in this case, it was not.
“We never get black cabs now. My girlfriend never seems to want to go to town because of having to get a taxi.”
Ur-Rahman was ordered to pay £100 compensation to both Edward and Rachel.
Rachel, a student at the University of Central Lancashire, said: “I’d always been told by my mum and dad: ‘always get a black cab because it’s the safest way to go home’ but now there’s not a chance. I would never get one on my own.”
Today Ur-Rahman, a father of two, said he was planning to appeal.
He said: “I have been a taxi driver for three and a half years and I only do it so I can be home quickly because of my five-year-old son who is disabled… I don’t like this job because you get a lot of abuse.
“The couple were shouting at me and I felt intimidated. This has just put me off driving, but I have to return to work because I need to earn a living for my family.”
A Preston Council spokesman said Ur-Rahman would be able to continue driving until a review of his licence on September 10.
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