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Splash Limousines, a Dudley-based limo hire company catering to school proms, have been fined £1000 for not possessing a private hire licence or a valid insurance. The limo hire company were caught during a council sting operation that revealed their lack of a private licence invalidated their insurance policy.

Lee Jeavons and Rachel Marson, owners of the company, have denied any wrongdoing stating that they were under the impression that the council authorities did not require a private hire licence. They have also told Dudley Magistrates Court that their company may face closure due to the court proceedings.

Splash Limousines defence Mr Shabir Qureshi said: “Five years ago there was a lot of talk among other limo companies that a private hire licence may be required, but Miss Marson was given the clear impression that there was no need for this in Dudley.”

However, enforcement officer Trevor Parkes told the court that Dudley council had started licensing limousines three years ago after a change in law. He also said that Splash Limousines should have been aware of this development and made changes to their licence as required.

Prosecuting, Tim Holder said that the company insurance policy only covered private hire cars. The lack of a private hire licence nullified the policy, leaving Splash Limousines without a valid insurance.

The entire matter came to light when the parent of a student, looking to book a limo hire for his daughter’s school prom, enquired whether Splash Limousines hold a licence. Mr Jeavons and Ms Marson, who also drove the limousines, told the court that they believed that they were covered by their insurance policy. The couple also claimed that they had only been sent licensing information relating to taxis and Hackney carriages by the council.

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