A PRIVATE hire driver from Widnes has been sentenced by the courts for touting for work without a licence after Creamfields.

Stephen Kelly was handed a 12-month conditional discharge this week following an investigation and successful prosecution by Halton Borough Council’s licensing department.

The 57-year-old, of Liverpool Road in Widnes, was also ordered to pay £500 of the council’s costs plus a £26 surcharge.

On Wednesday, Warrington Magistrates’ Court heard how the incident occurred during Creamfields music festival in Daresbury in August last year.

Kelly repeatedly touted his vehicle for hire and did not have an operator’s licence in place, the council said.

The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of touting for hire car services and two counts of acting as a private hire vehicle without an operator’s licence.

The sentence was welcomed by the council, with a spokesman stating: “Illegally touting for hire not only violates the law, but also puts the safety of passengers and other road users at risk.

“A private hire vehicle that is not pre-booked is not insured.

“One of the aims of the touting legislation is to secure the safety of passengers in private hire vehicles.

“Where licensed drivers are not adhering to the rules and risk endangering the public, the council will take action.

“The council would like to acknowledge the co-operation of the witnesses in this case which enabled the taxi licensing enforcement officer to fully investigate and resolve the matter.”