A SCREWDRIVER-WIELDING taxi driver has been stripped of his private hire licence.

Members of Bolton Council’s licensing and regulation committee voted not to renew the licence after hearing from a witness who was left feeling “afraid” when the driver threatened him with the implement after taking it from his vehicle.

He also told the panel of his “relief” when the police arrived on the scene during the incident which resulted in the driver receiving a caution for possession of a a knife blade/sharp article in a public place.

The incident dates back to August 2014 but the driver had failed to declare the convictions to licensing chiefs on applications submitted since.

The committee felt the witness’s evidence was “credible” and were of of the belief that the brandishing of the screwdriver was a “premeditated act”.

The driver — who also had an undeclared conviction for common assault — claimed the tool was in his hand as he had been replacing a lightbulb in his vehicle.

But minutes from the behind-closed-doors meeting describe his evidence as “inconsistent”, adding that he seemed “unaware of his responsibilities” on account of his failure to declare his convictions, adding that he had either “made false statements or withheld information”.

The minutes add: “Members of the public and, the elderly, infirm and children or vulnerable adults entrust their personal safety and wellbeing to private hire drivers whenever they take a journey. Passengers often travel alone and are vulnerable to inappropriate behaviour and dishonesty.

The committee’s primary duty is of concern for the safety and wellbeing of the public.There is therefore reasonable cause to refuse to renew the private hire driver’s licence.”