- Mohammed Hafiz Raja, from Watford, convicted by Westminster magistrates
- Colin Perreira, 24, from Hemel Hempstead, was refused ride at Watford junction
- He said he has taken Uber drivers to court five times over lift refusals
- Uber said in a statement that Raja's decision was 'totally unacceptable'
This is the sickening moment an Uber driver refuses to give a ride to a blind man's guide dog and leaves them standing on the pavement.
Mohammed Hafiz Raja was filmed saying 'I ain't going to take your dog' before driving away in his blue BMW at Watford junction station, Hertfordshire, in June last year.
Colin Perreira, 24, from Hemel Hempstead, and his six-year-old guide dog Sid had booked a ride to his father's home in King's Lynn, six miles away. This marks the fifth time Colin has taken an Uber driver to court.
Raja, from Watford, was convicted of breaching the Equality Act and fined £1,700 at Westminster magistrates' court last month. He has also been banned from offering rides through the app.
Uber said in a statement their driver's behaviour was 'totally unacceptable'.
In the video, Colin walks up to the BMW with his dog, which he needs to cross roads and get up steps, to take the lift before the driver refuses him access.
'I'm going to pass you to another drive. I ain't going to take your dog,' the driver says. When Colin challenges him, he says: 'It's my car mate.'
'It might be your car, but you sign up to a specific agreement with Uber,' Colin tells him on the video. 'The law states you are not allowed to refuse a guide dog.'
Raja then insists he has 'the power to' refuse to take him and drives away, leaving the pair standing on the pavement on June 27 last year.
Transport for London brought the case to magistrates on February 12. Raja did not enter a plea and did not attend the hearing.
'What angered me most this time is the driver was so blatant in his refusal,' Colin said after the hearing.
'Sometimes, drivers give medical or religious reasons. But this was the most blatant refusal I'd ever had. He didn't have a reason.
'I told him I'd report him and he said he didn't want a dog in his car.'
'Most Uber drivers I come across are Muslim drivers. Many Muslims seem to think dogs are unclean. It’s against their religion.
'They don’t seem to understand that UK law, under the Equality Act 2010 doesn’t protect them from refusing rides on religious grounds.'
Colin said other drivers have previously told him they are allergic to dogs in order to avoid giving him a lift, but he says they must have a valid medical exemption certificate to prove this.
'One driver said he was going to pull over to show me his certificate, and then just drove off,' Colin said.
He has continued to use the app, despite being refused lifts by drivers, in order to defend disabled people.
'It’s convenient, cashless and cheap. It makes my life much easier because I don’t have to mess around with coins. Ubers are always around the corner,' he said.
'It normally takes about five minutes, compared to 30 minutes for a taxi. Why should I have to stop using the app, because of the way I am treated?'
'I feel like I am standing up for the disabled people and guide dog owners. I want to show that we won't tolerate this behaviour and that we will stand up to it.
'My message to drivers who refuse to take my guide dog is that I will not tolerate it. I will prosecute. I am not in the business of getting people to lose their jobs, I’m doing it to raise awareness. I have to stand up for members of the blind community.
'I don’t take being refused a ride personally, although it does really anger me and confuse me that people don’t seem to understand what a guide dog is.
'I take action because it can have a long-lasting impact if it happens to others. It could stop them from leaving the house.'
A spokesman for Uber said: 'It is totally unacceptable for drivers to refuse to take a guide dog and we investigate every report.
'Any driver who is found to have refused to take a service animal will permanently lose access to the app.'