Sooty Edwards from Haddenham, Buckinghamshire has apparently been operating ‘Skooters’ without a private hire licence and was fined £2,700 and ordered to pay £3,493 of costs recently. The company was caught following a successful operation involving officers from the local authority, Cambridgeshire Police and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
Elizabeth Bailey, Principal Environmental Health Officer said: “The last thing anyone wants to do when they are arranging an event or a special day out is worry about the safety of the driver or vehicle. In our recent case against the company Skooters, the vehicle, driver and company were all unlicensed, and despite repeated requests to become licensed, the owner failed to act on our advice, and carried on operating.”
She added; “We hope this recent case is a warning to any operator who thinks they can cut corners and not licence themselves and their vehicles, and reminds local residents to ask the right questions of their private hire company.”
Cambridge News has reported that in January 2010, Edwards and his son Kristian, who was 21 at the time, were handed suspended prison sentences after they set themselves up as cigarette smugglers.
The father-and-son duo had claimed they brought in 500,000 contraband cigarettes to raise funds to buy a bigger stake in Cambridge United FC for supporters, but they were convicted of evading £87,000 in duty.
Sooty was given a six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work – the maximum amount that can be imposed. Kristian was given three months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 150 hours of work in the community.