Abdul Rasheed Majekodumni was fined £200 and ordered to approximately £1,200 in costs by a court for refusing to take Jane Vernon, a legal officer with the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and her guide dog in his private hire taxi. Ms Vernon was on her way home from the BBC Television Studios when Mr Majekodumni, who works for a cab company contracted by the BBC, refused to take her.
Section 37 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 imposes a duty on taxi drivers to carry an assistance dog, without additional charge, when it accompanies a disabled person. The only exception to this is where a taxi driver proves a medical exemption for which they require to have and display a medical certificate. In this case, Mr Majekodumni did not have a medical exemption and nor did he attempt to use this exemption. Instead, Mr Majekodumni told Ms Vernon that he could not have contact with the animal because dogs were unclean under Islamic teaching.
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said: "It is true that many Muslims do regard dogs as being unclean for religious reasons. However, guide dogs are quite a different matter because they are performing an essential role to help blind people."
Mr Majekodunmi remained unrepentant, saying he would still refuse to take guide dogs in his mini cab.