Posted: Mon 19th Dec 2011

Wrexham Taxi Driver Investigated Over Locked Doors Allegation for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Dec 19th, 2011

North Wales Police have launched an investigation after a Wrexham taxi driver was accused of locking two female passengers in his car in an argument over a fare.

The incident is alleged to have happened at 4am this morning as two young girls were driven home to the Ceiriog Valley after a night out in Wrexham.

Having agreed a fare of £18 with the marshal at the Wrexham and Prestige taxi rank the girls claim that within a mile of reaching their destination the driver suddenly informed them it has risen to £26.

When the girls contested the increase on arrival at their destination, he is then alleged to have locked the doors and told them to pay the fare or they would be driven back to Wrexham.

It is also claimed that he asked one of them to leave their mobile phone behind and asked them for an extra £10 for “wasting his time”.

A spokesperson for Wrexham and Prestige has denied that the doors were locked and claimed that the two girls looked like they were attempting to “do a runner”.

One of the girl’s mothers has contested the company’s account. Jules Payne, from Dolywern, said that her 21 year old daughter and her friend were left shaken by the ordeal.

She said that her daughter was locked in the car on her own whilst her friend went to get money and that the driver had been in a “temper”.

“My daughter tried to get out of the taxi but both the back doors were locked. At this point she felt very vulnerable and slightly panicky,” she said.

“At this point the driver then demanded a further £10 from the girls saying: “This is going to cost you an extra £10 now because you have wasted my time.”

“My daughter, by now feeling quite fearful, kept trying the doors, but they remained locked whilst her friend was in her house getting the extra cash. ”

Ms Payne said that her daughter was only released once the driver was given the fare at which point he sped off. However, the girls refused to pay the extra £10 for “timewasting”.

She said: “As a mother I am alarmed and appalled at this man’s behaviour. We worry about our youngsters when they’re out partying but we expect them to be safe in a taxi.

“To my mind, locking a young woman in a car and refusing to let her out is tantamount to withholding someone against their will.”

North Wales Police have confirmed that they are investigating the complaint and a complaint has also been lodged with both Wrexham Council and Wrexham and Prestige Taxis.

The taxi firm has said that the doors of the vehicle were not locked at any time and that the driver had overheard the passengers planning to dodge the fare as they had insufficient money.

They also said that the rise in quoted fare was due to the girls originally stating that they were only going as far as Chirk.

They added that asking someone to leave property while they collect money is standard practice.

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