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Dublin taxi driver must pay €1,050 after overcharging passengers at Christmas

CourtsBy Sunday World
Charged  €47 for a €15 fare
Charged €47 for a €15 fare

A Dublin taxi driver has been ordered to pay €1,050 for over-charging two Christmas shoppers who had to hand over €47 for a €15 fare.

Seamus Goslin (70) from Balfe Road in Walkinstown pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court today to breaching the Taxi Regulation Act after he triple charged the passengers.

Stephen Ryan, a compliance officer with the National Transport Authority, told Judge John O'Neill that on a date last December, two customers had used the Halo 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 said he was embarrassed, has learned a "salutary lesson" and wanted to avoid a conviction.

Counsel 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”. He ordered him to pay €250 to the Simon Community along with €800 in prosecution costs. He adjourned the case until a date in December and said that if the money is not paid, a conviction will be recorded with a €500 fine on top of the order to pay costs.