A Penzance taxi driver has to pay £971 after being found guilty of smoking in his licensed taxi cab.

Nigel Davis, of Forbes Close, Penzance contested a fixed penalty notice at Truro Magistrates Court on Friday, March 28, after it was issued by a Cornwall Council licensing compliance officer who witnessed the offence.

Davis denied smoking in his licensed taxi cab at Longrock on July 14, was fined £100, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20 plus Cornwall Council’s legal costs of £851. The total of £971 must be paid within 14 days.

The court heard that the officer had witnessed Mr Davis smoking in his taxi cab while it was parked at Morrisons Supermarket, at Longrock, Penzance. The officer approached Davis and pointed out that this was an offence. He was later issued with a fixed penalty notice which he failed to pay.

In evidence Davis denied that he was smoking in the licensed vehicle and said that he was not issued with a fixed penalty notice.

After hearing the evidence the Magistrates stated that they were satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that the alleged offence had been committed and found Mr Davis guilty.

Bob Mears, the Council’s Licensing Compliance Manager, said, “The smoking legislation was introduced to protect the general public from the effects of smoking. Smoking in licensed taxis is an offence as it is a public workplace.

“We have regularly advised the trade through newsletters that such offences will be dealt with by a fixed penalty notice if the evidence is available. Council officers have already issued a number of fixed penalty notices for similar offences throughout Cornwall and I hope that this prosecution highlights how seriously we take this.”