Venue: By Microsoft Teams
Contact: Fiona McCallum Tel. No. 01546 604392
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors George Freeman, Roderick McCuish, Jean Moffat and Alastair Redman.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
CIVIC GOVERNMENT (SCOTLAND) ACT 1982: REQUEST FOR SUSPENSION OF TAXI DRIVER LICENCE (NO. 4274) (D MACINTYRE, OBAN)
Report by Head of Legal and Regulatory Support
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. In line with recent legislation for Civic Government Hearings, and following the Council’s current approach to the Coronavirus pandemic, the parties (and any representatives) were given the options for participating in the meeting today. The options available were by Video Call, by Audio Call or by written submission. For this hearing Police Scotland and the Licence Holder opted to proceed by way of Audio Call and they both joined the meeting by telephone.
At a meeting of the Committee on 23 September 2020 it was agreed not to proceed with the hearing and to continue consideration of the suspension of this licence until criminal proceedings were concluded.
A letter dated 14 July 2021 from the Chief Constable, advising of the outcome of the criminal proceedings against Mr MacIntyre was now before the Committee for consideration.
The Chair outlined the procedure that would be followed and invited Police Scotland to speak in support of the Chief Constable’s complaint.
Sgt Maginnis referred to a letter dated 14 July 2021 from Police Scotland which advised that on 14 June 2021 Mr MacIntyre had pled guilty to an amended charge and was convicted under the Road Traffic Act 1988 Section 5(1)(b) as a result of an incident which took place on 4 September 2020 when Mr MacIntyre was in charge of a vehicle and he was found to have a proportion of alcohol in his breath which exceeded the prescribed limit.
Mr MacIntyre apologised for any inconvenience caused. He said it had been a bit of a nightmare and had gone on for over a year and a half. He said that he had made a big mistake and could not hide from that. He said he could not deny it. He advised that the car had broken down and was not going anywhere. He said he had been self-isolating at the time. He went to see a friend when the car broke down and that he had a few drinks there. He advised that when going home he had to walk by the car and that he had stupidly went into the car and that this was a really bad mistake that he had made and that he had been punished quite badly for it. He said that he has been driving taxis for 12 years and had no points to his name. He said he had driven all over the country and all around Britain driving taxis with no complaints.
QUESTIONS FROM POLICE SCOTLAND
Sgt Maginnis sought and received confirmation from Mr MacIntyre that he had just been sitting in his car. She said that this was a slightly different version of events to what the witnesses had told the Police. Mr MacIntyre said he was not trying to sugar coat it. He explained that it was a mistake and that the witnesses had helped push his car to the side of the road and that he had continued to walk home after that. He said he had asked for help to move his car to the side of the road.
Councillor Green referred to the penalty of £750 fine, 10 points on his licence and surcharge of £40 given to Mr MacIntyre. He asked Sgt Maginnis if he was right to say that would not have been the maximum penalty normally given when people were found in charge of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He asked if there were mitigating circumstances that she was aware of that the Committee should take into account. Sgt Maginnis said Mr MacIntyre had not received the maximum penalty because he had pled guilty.
Councillor Colville sought and received confirmation from Sgt Maginnis that there was an error in the Chief Constable’s letter dated 5 May 2021. She confirmed that the incident had taken place on 29 April 2020 and not 4 September 2020.
Councillor Forrest asked Sgt Maginnis if she could share the witness’s version of events. Sgt Maginnis read out the witness statement to the Committee. Witness within their home address heard car engine revving loudly and observed vehicle in middle of carriageway. Alerted two other persons to this. Looking out window they recognised the driver and formed the opinion that driver was drunk so went outside to prevent driver from driving off. Witness knocked on driver side window to get attention, and driver was still revving engine. Window rolled down and driver said vehicle wouldn’t move. Witness offered assistance to move and at this point Mr MacIntyre exited the vehicle. Witnesses noted staggering/smell of alcohol and the Police were contacted after that.
Councillor Colville referred to Mr MacIntyre mentioning that this incident had happened during lock down. He asked Mr MacIntyre if he was working during that period or if he had been laid off. Mr MacIntyre said he was not laid off. He said he was working at Glen Sanda but at the time he was self-isolating as someone at his work had got ill. He said he had to be off work for 14 days and that it was very early in lock down and that there was lots of confusion about the virus at that time. He said that he had gone out for a drive as he was struggling a bit and that his car had broken down so he went and had a drink. He said he knew the car was not going anywhere and that he had been at it for a good hour before that. He said it was a mistake which he looked back on with regret.
Councillor Colville sought and received confirmation from Mr MacIntyre that he was not driving his taxi at the time.
Councillor Forrest sought and received confirmation from Mr MacIntyre that he had been driving his car before it broke down.
Councillor Blair sought and received confirmation from Mr MacIntyre that he had been driving his own car when it broke down. At that point ... view the full minutes text for item 3.