Reading: Uber driver ordered to pay over £1,000 for second offence of illegally operating

A Fareham Borough Council-licensed Uber driver has been hit with financial penalties of more than £1,000 and given eight points on his driving licence after he was caught illegally plying for hire for £10 fares in Reading, for a second time.

Muhamad Ismail Mahumuthu Atham, of Kingsgate Street, Reading, was ordered to pay fines and legal costs totalling £1,195, after being found guilty at Reading Magistrates’ Court in June 2024. The 52-year-old was caught by Reading Council Licensing officers on Oxford Road, Reading, on Sunday 2 December 2022.

Mr Atham agreed to pick up two officers acting as passengers outside a late-night food outlet. When Mr Atham recognised one of the enforcement officers, he drove off with the rear door still open.

At a hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on 17 June 2024, Mr Atham was found guilty on three counts:

  • Plying for hire without a hackney carriage vehicle licence – £200 fine
  • Plying for hire without a hackney carriage driver’s licence – £100 fine
  • Driving without insurance – 8 penalty points  

He also was ordered to pay £775 towards prosecution costs, as well as a victim surcharge of £120.

Mr Atham has previously been convicted for illegally plying for hire in Reading. On 9 November 2020, he was found guilty of the same offence at Reading Magistrates’ Court.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy and Transport, said: “This successful conviction by Reading’s diligent licensing team shows that Private Hire drivers who think they are above the law will not escape punishment. Private Hire and Hackney Carriage customers deserve to trust that their driver is properly insured and licensed. Our officers routinely conduct operations in town centre hotspots to enforce these standards.

“We are thankful for the support from the majority of Reading’s law-abiding taxi trade. Unlicensed drivers who undermine this trust will be dealt with firmly to maintain public confidence and ensure safety in our nighttime economy.


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