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Prime Time taxi driver fails in licence appeal

Taxi-driver fails in licence appeal

A NIGERIA taxi-driver based in Castlebar has failed in his appeal to restore his taxi driver licence after it was revoked when he was involved in an assault.
Morris Agboerha of 52 Chestnut Grove, Castlebar was appealing the decision by Chief Superintendent Tom Curley to revoke his licence after he was involved in an assault in Castlebar in December 2009. Mr Aghoerha was convicted of assault causing harm but received the benefit of the Probation Act, which meant no actual conviction was recorded against him.
Mr Agboerha’s had previously applied for a taxi licence in 2008 but the then Chief Supt Anthony McNamara (pictured) refused to grant one after he was accused of Social Welfare fraud in a Prime Time Investigates programme on RTÉ television. In 2009, Chief Supt Anthony McNamara granted him his licence on the condition there were no further incidents involving Mr Agboerha.
The appeal was first heard last May and at last week’s sitting of Belmullet District Court, Judge Denis McLoughlin gave his decision not to allow the appeal.
Mr Gary Mulchrone, solicitor for Mr Agboerha said that his client was attacked on the night of the assault and was not the aggressor. He said it was a ‘technical assault’ and that was why he was given the benefit of the Probation Act and not a conviction.
Mr Mulchrone added that revoking his licence would go against the spirit of the Probation Act if the charge was used to revoke the licence, and explained that the licence was revoked before the full facts were heard.
Judge Denis McLoughlin said he had adjourned the appeal hearing to determine if the facts of the case had been proved. He said he accepted the charge was dismissed under the Probation Act but the judge had found the facts of the assault had taken place. He said on that basis and the basis of the previous conviction for fraud he was refusing the appeal.