A CLYDEBANK taxi driver has been granted a licence to operate in the area despite a slew of past driving convictions including driving a stolen car.

Mark Shields went before West Dunbartonshire Council’s licensing committee last week, following an objection from Police Scotland in relation to his application.

In a letter from the force, past convictions were detailed, including driving a stolen car and taking fuel without paying for it.

In 2006, Mr Shields drove a car, which was later found to have been stolen, away from police. The committee was told he was involved in a collision and caused it to spin.

In 2007, he was convicted of the offence at Dunfermline Sheriff Court, fined £400, and banned from driving for 12 months.

Mr Shields was also convicted of taking a car from an Edinburgh showroom for a test drive last year and failing to return the vehicle to the business.

He was found guilty of the 2018 offence at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in April and was fined £200.

Mr Shields has also been reported to the procurator fiscal on suspicion of not paying for fuel on three separate occasions.

The first, on March 16, 2018, occurred at a petrol station in Thornliebank, Glasgow, where he allegedly took £83.55 of fuel.

In the second instance, Mr Shields allegedly took £65 in fuel from a garage in Dunfermline on June 10, 2018.

He was also alleged to have driven away from a service station in Kilmarnock without paying for £49.28 of petrol.

However, no further action was taken by the procurator fiscal in respect of any of the alleged fuel thefts. Mr Shields told the licensing committee hearing this was because he had paid the money back.

Click here for all the latest news from Clydebank and the surrounding areas

Despite his past offences, the licensing committee agreed to give Mr Shields a second chance, granting his licence.

Labour councillor Lawrence O’Neill asked if Mr Shields could be recalled at some point during the year-long period of his licence, and the committee agreed he would be brought back before councillors after it expires.