TWO Southampton taxi drivers have been fined after picking up passengers who had not pre-booked.

The court heard how two city council officials carrying out random checks saw a customer ask cabbie Yadgar Kurshid, who was parked in Bedford Place, to take him to the Grosvenor Casino.

Kurshid, 43, of Shirley Road, pleaded guilty before city magistrates to breaching his private hire licence and not having the appropriate insurance.

He said at the time he didn’t realise he was breaking the law.

He said: “I phoned my operator and made the booking. My job is all I have. I had no intention of breaking the law. We all make mistakes.”

He was fined £150 with a £35 surcharge fee and £200 costs.

Prosecutor Mary Kigonya said the second defendant, Davidson Tshuma, picked up two customers at Leisureworld, not realising they were city council officials making a test purchase.

Tshuma, 38, of Northbrook Road, Southampton, admitted two similar charges. He was fined £200 with a £30 surcharge fee and £200 costs.

He said he had only been in the job for four months and was using his wages to help his sick mother.