Wife killer studying to be taxi driver

A convicted killer and paranoid schizophrenic has been given permission to study the "knowledge" to become a black cab driver despite fears about public safety, it was revealed today.

The man strangled his wife in 2000 and pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at the Old Bailey, it was reported.



The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced to indefinite detention under the Mental Health Act in January 2001 but was released in October 2003, London's Evening Standard said.



It is understood that his conviction was declared "spent" in 2005 under offender rehabilitation laws.



His application to study for the knowledge in June 2007 was initially rejected but he appealed and was given permission to begin study in December 2007 after psychiatric assessments.



He was also granted a private hire driver licence at the same time following psychiatric reports.



Under the terms of the permission, among other checks he will have to under go a yearly medical to ensure his condition is under control.



A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman said the decision to give the man permission to study for the knowledge and to grant a private hire vehicle licence had been referred to an independent board for them to adjudicate as to whether the decision was correct.



He said: "We fully recognise this is an issue of concern and the matter has been referred to an independent review.



"Passenger safety is always our first priority. Anyone applying to become a licensed taxi or private hire driver must complete an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.



"All applicants with a previous criminal conviction are subjected to rigorous checks and we work closely with the Metropolitan Police and the wider criminal justice system before any decision is made to ensure they are suitable to be a taxi driver.



"In this case we received reports from all of the relevant authorities and evidence from clinicians and the decision was based on that evidence."



Examiners at the Public Carriage Office (PCO), the part of TfL which regulates the cab trade, were reported to be "appalled" by the decision.



"The safety of the public is at risk," one told the Evening Standard. "This guy killed his wife less than 10 years ago and if he passes the exam we are going to put him in a cab, on his own, picking up lone women all over London."



Bob Crow, general secretary of taxi union RMT, said: "It defies belief that any individual who has been convicted of manslaughter for the killing of a woman could be even considered as an acceptable candidate for the knowledge and allowed out onto the London streets in a black cab.



"RMT will be taking this matter up with the PCO and TfL and we will be demanding action from the authorities.



"This situation should never have been allowed to get this far and that's a massive failure of the procedures and RMT shares the anger of the taxi drivers who are rightly appalled at this shocking news."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Qualified Primary Teaching Assistant

£64 - £73 per day + Competitive rates based on experience : Randstad Education...

Primary KS2 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam