A private hire driver has been convicted for driving without a licence.

Kevin Allder, 64, was convicted for driving without a licence after he failed to renew his private hire driver's licence after it expired on December 6 last year.

He was convicted in court of failing to possess a valid private hire driver’s licence and five offences of not displaying his private hire badge between December 6, 2018 and January 30, 2019.

Allder had applied to Three Rivers District Council's Licensing team on January 28, 2019, to renew his private hire driver's licence.

Lead licensing officer Lorna Fryer then became aware that Allder's licence had been expired for almost two months.

Following a full investigation, it was found that Allder had continued to drive his private hire vehicle on 40 separate occasions without the required private hire drivers licence and continued to accept books from his operator after realised his licence had expired.

The 64-year-old believed he could renew his licence without anyone becoming aware it had expired, he said he would: "drive carefully, paper over the cracks and carry on. The last thing I thought, was Three Rivers would know the amount of specified work I would be delegated, and on what days."

On sentencing, at court, the Chairman of the Bench said: "It is absolutely right for the Council to say that maintaining a current private hire driver's licence is very important in regard to the insurance question.

"You were lucky that you were insured for third-party risks. If you had not been, that would have taken this prosecution into a different league.

"We are also not convinced that you weren't aware when you did submit your application in January that you could not drive until and unless it was granted."

Allder was fined a total of £400, with an additional £200 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

Due to the conviction he will be unable to apply to Three Rivers District Council for a period of five years following the conviction.

Cllr Steve Drury, Chair of Licensing Committee said: "Drivers of Private Hire and Hackney Carriage vehicles are expected to take responsibility to ensure all their documents are up to date, including their driver and vehicle licences.

"The licensing authority does not have any obligation to remind drivers of the expiry dates pertaining to their licence.

"The onus is entirely on the individuals, and this has been reiterated to all the Three Rivers operators and drivers on numerous occasions.

"This case should set an example to all existing and new drivers that they must thoroughly read and adhere to the relevant policies and regulations that relate to their licences.

"Otherwise, they risk having their licence revoked and further action being taken, not only against their licence, but they could also jeopardise the operator’s licence who contracts out their bookings."

The Council urges all licensed drivers to regularly check the expiry date of their licences and to contact the Licensing team if they are in any doubt.