THE operator of an illegal taxi business has been fined over £400 and disqualified from driving by Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to six offences.

The prosecution followed investigations by Stroud District Council which led to a planned operation to catch the offender.

Adrian Woods, of Orchard Road, Ebley pleaded guilty to six offences in relation to taxi licensing including two for no insurance.

He was fined a total of £420 and disqualified from driving for six months. His offences related to two vehicles.

In August, following a complaint from a member of the public and concerns from other taxi drivers, officers from SDCl phoned Mr Woods to book a taxi to take them from Stroud to Gloucester.

He picked them up, took them on their journey and charged a fare.

As he was not a licensed to do this it constituted a criminal offence.

Shelley Coles, licensing officer for SDC, said: "Public safety is our overriding concern.

"We hope that this case will send a clear message to any potential rogue operators that we will track them down and prosecute.

"In the run-up to Christmas, with many more people using taxis, we advise that anyone getting into one checks for an official council licensing plate on the back of the vehicle and that the driver is wearing their photo ID."

Anyone with concerns about rogue taxi drivers should call 01453 754 404 or email