A taxi company in Leicester has sacked one of its employees and apologised to a couple denied service on religious grounds by driver who said he was a Muslim and that it was against his religion to transport their guide dog.
According to this report, in a shocking incident captured on mobile phone footage, the driver refused to accept Charles Bloch, his girlfriend Jessica Graham and his guide dog Carlo.
The couple, who are both registered blind after being born with visual impairments, were outraged by the refusal.
Bloch, a student at De Montfort University, said in the video:
By law you can’t deny us. It’s against the Disability Act of 1995.
The driver retorted:
I do not take the dog. It’s a choice for me. For me, it’s about my religion.
The driver eventually called his office to request another car, which Bloch refused by saying:
No, I want this car.
The driver ignores him, cancels the other car and drives off.
As the driver left, a shocked and upset Bloch said:
If you drive away I’ll sue you.
The taxi driver, who has not been identified, has since been told to find work elsewhere by the taxi company.
Darren Green, ADT Taxis office manager, said:
We very much regret this. The driver, who is self-employed has only been with us for two months. We will not use him again after this. I am visually impaired myself after suffering a detached retina. We have many customers who are visually impaired.
ADT Taxis has also issued a long apology on its Facebook page, saying:
We are deeply ashamed of the conduct of this Leicester City Council licensed driver and he clearly broke the law after not accepting a booking we gave to him on religious grounds and has been dispensed with as well as being reported to the council.
Our policy is clear, we do not discriminate. If we have drivers reported to us for breaking terms of their licence, we cut them off from our bookings system and no longer use their service. The manager is contacting the customer concerned, and will offer him a full apology and some free journeys.