Taxi driver uses translator to tell judge his English is good enough for a cab licence

London /England - December 26 2017: Closeup to a London Taxi Sign on Oxford Street
Yawar Latif did not convince authorities to reinstate his taxi licence (Picture: Getty)

A cab driver used an interpreter to tell a judge his English was good enough to operate a taxi.

Yawar Latif made a desperate plea at Newcastle Magistrates’ court to be allowed to drive a taxi after his licence was revoked because of a previous conviction for illegally selling cigarettes and tobacco.

During the trial, his ability to speak good English was questioned because he used an interpreter constantly despite having passed the language check for his licence.

Newcastle City Council says all Hackney carriage drivers need a basic understanding of English.

Dad-of-one Latif said he was able to chat to passengers and understand directions even though he required a translator to understand most of what was said in court, according to Chronicle Live.

He claimed he needed a translator during the hearing because he wanted to be absolutely clear on what was being communicated.

Typical Black Taxi From London City
Taxi driver Yawar Latif needed an interpreter in court (Picture: Getty)

Latif would have been allowed to drive a taxi if a previous conviction for selling 20,000 cigarettes and 20.8 kilos of tobacco from his car was not discovered.


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He told the court he did not know he needed to disclose the fact he had been arrested for illegally selling tobacco because it was not a driving offence or conviction for violence.

He asked for a “second chance” and said he had learned from his mistake.

His pleas were not heard and the council upheld its decision to not allow him a licence because he was not a “fit and proper person”.

Latif will also have to complete 240 hours of unpaid work.

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