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England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions >> Gateshead Council v Henderson  EWHC 807 (Admin) (13 February 2012)
Cite as:  EWHC 807 (Admin)
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QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
1 Oxford Row
B e f o r e :
| GATESHEAD COUNCIL
|- and -
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
165 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7404 1424
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Charles Holland (instructed by Pearson Caulfield) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE SUPPERSTONE:
"Having heard all the evidence we made the following findings of fact in relation to the contentious issues. We found that MrsáHunter had not alighted from the vehicle prior to MráLines knocking on the window and making his repeated requests. Furthermore MrsáHunter was still in the rear of the vehicle completing her transaction when MráLines physically entered the vehicle and made a request to be taken to the Hilton Hotel. In our view we could not be sure that the respondent had either expressly or by inference, invited or encouraged a member of the public to use his vehicle. Therefore we dismissed the allegation of plying for hireů"
"In relation to the interpretation of the word 'plying' we have drawn a distinction between a driver agreeing to complete an unsolicited request, as in the instant case, and a driver who solicits the trade directly or indirectly by parking up or lingering for longer than is necessary in the expectation or hope of further custom. This was clearly not the situation in this case, where the driver was still in the process of concluding a legitimate fare when engaged by the council officers."
"Were we correct in law in acquitting the respondent on the basis of the definition of 'plying' as applied by us in this case?"
"The bench failed to take into consideration the factors relating to the alleged offence and paid too much regard to matters that were irrelevant."
"Whether by parking the vehicle where he did the respondent was in the circumstances impliedly soliciting custom -- that is, exhibiting the vehicle to the public as one which might be hired."
"In my judgment, when the defendant parked the marked car in the street, for the purpose of going into the toilet, he was not plying for hire, and when he came out of the toilet, he was not plying for hire. But when, having sat in the driver's seat, he told the prospective passengers that he was free to carry them, at that stage he was, bearing in mind where the car was and what the car looked like, plying for hire."
"In the ordinary way, therefore, I should, apart from authority, have felt that it was of the essence of plying for hire that the vehicle in question should be on view, that the owner or driver should expressly or impliedly invite the public to use it, and that the member of the public should be able to use that vehicle if he wanted to."
Order: 1. Appeal dismissed.
2. No order for costs.
3. LA Direction Respondent.