A TAXI driver who was caught driving with a mobile phone in his hand has had his licence renewed.

Neil Brown, of Alexandria, was fined £200 and issued six penalty points on his licence after he was caught on the A813 using his mobile phone in June 2018.

Mr Brown was brought before West Dunbartonshire Council’s licensing committee on Wednesday morning where he claimed that he did not have any passengers in his car at the time of the incident.

He said: “I have been a taxi driver for 17 years. When I appeared before you the last time, I held up my hands.

“My lawyer advised me to accept a guilty plea which led to my fines and penalty points. My insurance also increased by £500. I paid for everything.”

Mr Brown was then asked by the board about the circumstances which lead to this incident and what he had learned from it.

He replied: “We had been all issued new handheld mobile phones by our taxi company but the cable to connect it to the taxi was really short.

“It bounced into my hand and I pulled into a petrol station to reattach it. The police officer at the time said I had been using a white Samsung phone but I have never owned one of those.

“My taxi phone is silver and my personal phone is black. That is why I wanted to challenge the offence but I was advised against it.”

Councillor Lawrence O’Neill said: “I am assuming you have a different longer cable for your phone now.”

Mr Brown replied: “I have a totally different car and cable.”

Members unanimously agreed to grant the application.