A MAN who posted a Facebook message suggesting his parked car contained a bomb has won his appeal against the revocation of his taxi driving licence.

Gordon Welsh's licence was revoked by South Lakeland District Council last year following an unrelated conviction, but a judge at Barrow Crown Court last week upheld his appeal and reinstated the licence.

The court heard that in November 2017, Mr Welsh had left his vehicle parked on land off New Road in Kendal, and had subsequently posted a Facebook message warning that it contained 40kg of the explosive amatol along with a mercury switch.

The incident led to a warning being given to Mr Welsh.

He was then convicted and fined for an unrelated common assault in March 2018, and in the wake of this conviction his licence was revoked by the SLDC's inspectors in line with the council's policy on such matters.

Mr Welsh's original appeal against the conviction was turned down in August 2018 but he made a second appeal which proved successful.

Ruling that the revoking of Mr Welsh's licence should be lifted, Justice Gibson told the court it was "very much a marginal decision," but after due consideration he had decided to allow the appeal.

He noted that the appellant had been a taxi driver since the age of 23 and he had held a Hackney Carriage licence with SLDC since 2008 and a private hire licence since 2016, and though his licence was revoked last year, under current regulations Mr Welsh was free to continue working until the appeals procedure was complete.

Explaining his decision, Justice Gibson said that he had looked firstly at Mr Welsh's common assault conviction and decided that he agreed with Mr Welsh's legal representative Wayne Goldstein that the offence was at the less serious end of the spectrum and therefore was not in itself grounds for the revocation of his licence.

He added that he accepted Mr Goldstein's contention that his client's conviction had been based on Mr Welsh's own evidence and this was a factor in his conclusion.

Referring to the Facebook message, he said he had concluded after considering the full circumstances that it was not meant as a serious bomb threat, though he said the emergency services were correct to react quickly when they became aware of the threat and their actions in dealing with the matter had been fully justified.

And after stressing once again that his decision was a marginal one, Justice Gibson warned Mr Welsh firmly about his future conduct.

An application for costs to be recovered by the appellant was turned down by the court.

A spokesperson for South Lakeland District Council said it respected the decision of the court but would not be making any further comment.