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Minicab driver prosecuted for refusing to carry assistance dog

10 May 2017

Transport for London (TfL) has successfully prosecuted a minicab driver for refusing to take an assistance dog.

Read more on the TFL website

By law private hire drivers must not refuse to carry a passenger because they want to travel with an assistance dog and operators are unable to charge extra on their fare.

Sophie Biebuyck, from Brentwood in Essex, was on her way to a wedding reception with her hearing dog Rusty when the driver refused to take her dog unless she paid an additional £45. Sophie refused and arrived late to the reception.

At City of London Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 19 April 65-year-old Ali Ates of, Brooke Road, Clapton was found guilty in his absence of refusing to carry a passenger who wished to be accompanied by an assistance dog, fined £500 and ordered to pay £988 in costs.

Since TfL began prosecuting private hire drivers for not accepting assistance dogs in February 2015, 21 minicab drivers have been successfully prosecuted and fined a total of £7,055.

Sophie and assistance dog Rusty