Taxi ‘Hero’

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A taxi driver from Leeds received special praise from two of his customers last week after returning a wallet containing hundreds of pounds.

Mohammed Ashafaq, of Premier Taxis, Leeds, often finds an array of leftovers in his car; from passports to mobiles, and bank cards to baby bags. The usual routine would be to hand in the valuables to head office or the police who will then return the item to the rightful owner.

However, after finding a blank wallet, with no ID inside, just £390 in cash, the 51-year-old driver decided to make it his personal mission to return the money to the rightful owner.

“I knew if I dropped it off at the office they would have had no other option but to just hold onto it until a person came forward and that might never happen so I decided to try and find the person myself,” the taxi driver of six years explained.

“Initially I thought it may have been a student’s but whilst I was out on a job I drove past an elderly couple’s house, who I had picked up on the day I found the wallet, and by chance called in.”

79-year-old Peter Robinson and his wife of 58 years, Maureen (78), were the residents at the home in Horsforth when the taxi pulled up at the address.

Mohammed Shafi with Maureen and Peter Robison

To their amazement Mr Ashafaq questioned them about the wallet and within moments it was revealed to be the one belonging to the great-grandfather of two, Mr Robinson.

“I thought it had been put away safely as we needed the money to pay for the new carpet,” Mr Robinson explained.

“When we saw the taxi driver we couldn’t add up why he was here. I didn’t even know the wallet lost, I had just assumed it was still in the house somewhere.

“I used to drive buses and I know that this kind of job may be thankless at times but we are very grateful to this man. He is very good, honest person.”

Mr Ashafaq said that seeing the delight on the couple’s faces made the trip more than worthwhile.

“I considered it my duty really to return the wallet. Mr Robinson was very kind to offer me money but I could not accept it. He gave me £10 for my trouble and I am very thankful to them both.”

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