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IN THE NEWS


STUN GUN WHICH WAS LEFT IN YORK DRIVER’S CAB COST HIM HIS JOB AND CAREER


A discarded item cost a taxi driver his job, his career and put him in the dock on a firearms charge, York Crown Court heard. The Northern Echo reports that Andrew Finlay, prosecuting, said police found what appeared to be a mobile phone when they searched Phillip Brayshaw’s home in Spring 2019. It was actually a stun gun and was examined by a police firearms expert. “It was found to be charged and useable,” said Mr Finlay. Brayshaw, 50, from Dringhouses, pleaded guilty to possessing a weapon capable of discharging something harmful, an offence under the Firearms Act. His barrister Kate Bissett said Brayshaw


had not disguised the stungun or arranged for it to be disguised. He had been a taxi driver and was “left in the taxi,” she said. “He had taken it home, put it in a drawer, thinking to get rid of it and forgot about it.” His guilty plea cost him his job as it meant he could no longer hold a taxi driver’s licence, she said. Brayshaw was given a 12-month com- munity order with 80 hours’ unpaid work. He was also made subject to a restraining order banning him from contacting or going near a man who lives near him for three years. Mr Finlay said police found the stungun after the near neighbour made allega- tions that Brayshaw had assaulted him.


Police arrested Brayshaw and when they searched his house they found the stungun in a drawer in the bedroom. There was no suggestion that Brayshaw had used it in any way. Brayshaw was charged with causing actual bodily harm to the other man and causing criminal damage to a door and wall. He denied the charges. The day the case was listed for trial the prosecution agreed to drop the case if Brayshaw accepted the restraining order. After Brayshaw agreed, he was formally acquitted of the charges of causing actual bodily harm and crimi- nal damage. He had admitted the stungun charge months earlier.


BIRMINGHAM CABBIE WORKS 90-HOUR WEEKS FOR JUST £100 AS HE IS BATTERED BY THE CLEAN AIR ZONE


A Birmingham taxi driver says he is fac- ing financial ruin as he earns just £100 a week despite working up to 90 hours. Mizanur Khan, 42, told BirminghamLive he was forced to rely on his children as he can no longer count on a stable income from his demanding job. He said a combination of the pandemic and the Clean Air Zone had made the situation dire. Khan works for a local taxi firm in Kings Heath but uses his own vehicle. A large part of his trade was in and around Birmingham city centre but his pollut- ing vehicle has left him with hefty charges. After fuel, insurance and CAZ charges, he is struggling to pay his mortgage. He asked not to be pictured but want- ed to share his story to highlight the plight of those currently working in the trade.


He joins a growing number of cabbies who are urging


Birmingham City


Council to make taxi drivers exempt 16


from the charge. “Because of Covid there is no busi- ness,” he said. “I work seven days a week and I work 12 to 14 hours every day. After taking out my costs I’m not left with anything.” Mizanur lives in Acocks Green with his wife and three grown-up kids and has had to depend on family members for support. “To be honest, if my son wasn’t working I probably would have lost my house,” he said. “There were months where I never even had any wages and my son helped me and paid my bills and paid my mortgage.” He claimed he was even struggling to get through to the Council to pay his CAZ charges, which be alleged were being levied incorrectly. “I’ve been charged twice for the same day. The system is not right,” he went on. “They gave me a number and every time you phone that it says we’re busy and it gets disconnected.


“For two hours I tried to phone them. I’m struggling hard. I work seven days a week.”


He said the Council needed to step up. “We’re carrying the public,” he added. “Our job is to get our passengers to their destination safely. We should be exempt from the Clean Air Zone.” A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said: “The CAZ will help improve Birmingham’s air quality and the Council recognises that some groups will require more support to make the transition to a clean air city. “A comprehensive package of tempo- rary and permanent exemptions and £35 million of financial incentives to help individuals and businesses get ready.


“Birmingham City Council licensed taxi drivers can apply for grants of up to £5,000 to help them to upgrade or replace vehicles. And to date over 1,000 drivers have taken advantage of these schemes.”


AUGUST 2021


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