A Glasgow man was refused a licence to drive a private hire car after being convicted of assault when he banged a friends’ head against a table in a pub.
Councillors decided not to grant the new licence to Efrem Gebrekristos to drive for a living at a meeting yesterday. Police had objected to Mr Gebrekristos obtaining the licence in light of his criminal record.
A Police Scotland sergeant told the licensing and regulatory committee that Mr Gebrekristos was not a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
The sergeant described how he put a man in a chokehold and slammed his head across a table in a pub at closing time in 2018, it is understood.
He was sentenced to carry out unpaid work as part of a community payback order.
An agent representing Mr Gebrekristos told councillors his client had got into an argument that escalated with a friend. He said it “wasn’t a random attack on a random individual.”
Pointing out how Mr Gebrekristos was surviving on universal credit benefit, he said his client realises it is a “serious matter” and there have been no issues with the police since.
Committee chair, councillor Alex Wilson, expressed concern that if Mr Gebrekristos could do that to someone he knows there would be the potential to use violence against a member of the public.
After considering the case in private, councillors were split on whether to block his licence application. Councillor Wilson seconded by Councillor Leodhas Massie voted to refuse the application while Councillor Hanif Raja, seconded by Councillor Eunis Jassemi moved that the application be granted for one year with a warning issued over future conduct.
Councillor Wilson had the final deciding vote so the application was refused.
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