Local taxi drivers are incensed about the jailing of a 61-YEAR-OLD cabbie with a serious lung disease after failing to pay £12,000 owed to the Child Support Agency.
After he was sent to prison for 43 days his wife said “When they took him away he was shaking and I thought he was going to have a heart attack"
Most local drivers take the view that it's an injustice to jail a man for a debt which he fully intended paying off. Let's face it this man was working trying to earn an honest living just like the rest of us drivers. Suffering from emphysema and pleural plaques on his lungs, he could have quite simply claimed sickness benefits instead of working for a living and then the debt would have ended up being paid by the taxpayer. But unlike the ordinary working man we as self employed taxi drivers are punished twice in cases like this. Losing your liberty is bad enough, but added to that the loss of employment that follows and you have a case of double jeopardy. To drive a taxi you must have a police CRB check to prove you are a fit and honest person, and if you are convicted of any offence you must inform the local authorities, who then will no doubt take away your taxi licence. Maybe as some drivers are saying it doesn't make sense to work for a living, one driver remarked to me" if he was a druggie or alcoholic the case wouldn't even have reached court"