An Uber driver in Leicester, who claimed it was against his religion to transport dogs, was fined this week for refusing service to Charles Bloch, above, and his guide dog Carlos.
According to this report, Bloch told driver Ahmed Kayd, 42, that he had his Labrador with him via a message on the Uber smartphone app.
But when Kayd arrived he asked if the dog would “lick him” before refusing to give Bloch and his partner a lift home to Spinney Hill Park, Leicester.
Kayd claimed he did not like dogs and taking animals was against his religion, despite Mr Bloch explaining his refusal was illegal.
Bloch left feedback on the Uber app, exposing Kayd’s actions, and Kayd called back to apologise – but the disgruntled dog owner had already made other arrangements.
Kayd, of Beaumont Leys, Leicester, admitted refusing to convey a guide dog under the Equality Act 2010 at Leicester Magistrates Court.
He was issued a £140 fine and ordered to pay £327 in costs plus a victim surcharge of £30 on Wednesday.
Councillor Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, said:
Taxi drivers are legally required to accept bookings from passengers with assistance dogs, unless the driver has been granted an exemption certificate by the local authority.
In this case, the driver didn’t have any legitimate reason not to accept Mr Bloch and Carlo.
We are pleased with the successful prosecution and hope that it sends a clear message that we will not tolerate any discrimination.
Earlier this year we reported that Kayd, above, had been sacked by the ADT Taxi company over the incident, which took place in July.
At the time, 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.