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Dodgy Dublin taxi driver caught triple charging customers

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Dodgy Dublin taxi driver caught triple charging customers

A DUBLIN taxi driver, who triple charged two Christmas shoppers on a €15 fare, has been spared a criminal conviction.

Seamus Goslin (70) from Balfe Road in Walkinstown pleaded guilty in November at Dublin District Court to breaching the Taxi Regulation Act after he charged the passengers €45 for the short trip.

Judge John O'Neill had adjourned the case until today to see if the taxi-driver would give €250 to the Simon Community along with paying €800 in prosecution costs. After he was furnished with receipts he applied the Probation Act.

Stephen Ryan, a compliance officer with the National Transport Authority, had told Judge O'Neill that on a date last December, two customers had used the Hailo app to get a taxi from the city-centre to Barrow St after they had been shopping at Smyths toy store.

Goslin picked up the man and woman with their boxes of toys, at Jervis St, close to the shop, and took them to a company office at Barrow Street. 

Mr Ryan said he gave them two receipts, one for €17 and another signed one for €47, which Goslin claimed was a "carriage charge" for the boxes the two passengers brought with them.

He told the NTA officer it was a "courier job".

He also claimed it was just before Christmas and a "very busy time".

Mr Ryan said that in the past taxis were allowed a "luggage charge, but that is gone".

He carried out “two test runs” of the same route and found that the fare should have come to approximately €15.

The court heard Goslin is taxi-driving for the past 10 years, has no prior convictions and has not come to further attention.

Counsel defending had said he was embarrassed, has learned a "salutary lesson" and wanted to avoid a conviction. 

Counsel had also asked the court to note the driver had been asked to carry a large amount of luggage. 

Judge O'Neill noted the man had co-operated with the investigation and had given the passengers receipts and was not trying to “pull the wool over their eyes”.

Goslin had also been warned that if the money was not paid, a conviction would be recorded with a €500 fine on top of an order to pay costs.