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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Mason Balzanelli, 11, threatened with police and fined £50 by Express Cabs driver after he was sick in taxi following trip to Maidstone Hospital

08 August 2014
by Ed McConnell

Mason Balzanelli visited Maidstone Hospital last week after injuring his wrist during karate practice.

His mother Sharon phoned Express Cabs in Station Approach as she was working at the time and Mason’s grandfather John, who was looking after him, did not have transport.

Mason, 11, took a taxi to Maidstone Hospital with a suspected broken wrist

Mason, 11, took a taxi to Maidstone Hospital with a suspected broken wrist

Mason, who has since found out he had broken his arm, felt ill on the return journey and was slightly sick in the back of the taxi prompting the driver to demand an on-the-spot payment of £50 on top of the £24.70 fare.

According to Mason’s mother, when neither passenger could produce the money, the cabbie threatened to call the police.

Mrs Balzanelli, who has refunded Mason following the incident, was at work at the time so could not pay the fine.

The fine was eventually paid when the Sandling primary school pupil, who had been saving for a goalkeeper kit, raided his money box once home at Sandling Lane, Maidstone.

Mrs Balzanelli said: “I would understand if they wanted us to pay a small fee towards the cleaning, but £50 is utterly disproportionate.

“It’s not as if he was drunk on a Saturday night, he had just come out of hospital.”

Sharon Balzanelli with son Mason, 11, who was fined £50 and threatened with the Police after he was sick in a taxi following a hospital visit to treat his broken arm

Sharon Balzanelli with son Mason, 11, who was fined £50 and threatened with the Police after he was sick in a taxi following a hospital visit to treat his broken arm

“It’s not as if he was drunk on a Saturday night, he had just come out of hospital.” - Sharon Balzanelli

She added when she went to Express Cabs and asked to see the damage she was told the cab was out on a job and was refused a receipt.

John Johnson from Express Cabs said the driver owned the vehicle which is why Mrs Balzanelli could not be shown the damage or be provided with a receipt.

He added: “I’m informed the driver was willing to let them take the payment to our office but Mason’s grandfather offered to pay then and there. We would like to offer Mrs Balzanelli a full refund following the incident. It has certainly not been dealt with in the way we would like and we will be confirming our policy to all staff as the fine is usually only applied to people who are drunk.”

At present no refund has been arranged.


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