A TAXI driver who refused to take a passenger with a guide dog has been ordered to pay nearly £600.

Tahir Murad, 45, of Cullerne Close, Abingdon, was prosecuted by Vale of White Horse District Council after he was deemed to have breached equality legislation. 

Murad was working at the Ock Street taxi rank in Abingdon on July 5 last year when he was approached by a man who is registered blind and his guide dog. 

He made a number of excuses why he could not take the dog and refused to take the fare, despite not holding a certificate that would have exempted him from carrying dogs. 

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Murad had previously received disability awareness training and was fully aware of the requirement to carry assistance dogs.

After the victim made a complaint to the district council, Murad pleaded guilty to the offence at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on March 4.

He has been fined £300 and ordered to pay a contribution of £250 towards the prosecution costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

His Hackney carriage driver's licence has lapsed since the offence, according to the council.

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Elaine Ware, cabinet member for licensing, said: “I would like to thank the complainant for making us aware of this incident.

"This case demonstrates that we will always look to take action against drivers who refuse to take passengers with assistance dogs without a valid reason.”