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A cigarette which cost a Cardiff taxi driver £280

A private hire taxi driver was ordered to pay £280 in court for smoking a cigarette in his cab at a petrol station in Coryton.

Mr Gary Saleh, from North Road in Cardiff, didn’t appear at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court last Thursday (January 24th) and was prosecuted in his absence

The incident happened last year on May 16th, when a member of the public witnessed Mr Saleh light up a cigarette at the Asda petrol station and reported the incident to the Shared Regulatory Services.

A fixed penalty notice, with an accompanying letter explaining the offence, was sent to Mr Saleh’s address by recorded delivery, but no contact or payment was made. Officers continued to try to make contact with Mr Saleh, to make it clear that if he didn’t make contact and pay the charge, then the matter would be taken to court.

Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Shared Regulatory Services at Cardiff Council, said: “Taxi drivers are not allowed to smoke in their vehicle. It is their place of work, and even if they are not carrying customers, they are still not allowed to smoke in their cab.

“I know council officers made a number of attempts to contact Mr Saleh. When they were made aware that he moved address, they even re-issued the fixed penalty notice, giving him a further chance to pay. Due to the matter ending up in court, not only has Mr Saleh had to pay the fine, but the legal costs as well.”

Mr Saleh was fined £100, ordered to pay £150 in costs, with an additional victim surcharge of £30.