Taxi driver duped out of £140 fare by mannequin

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"Do you know who I had in the back of my cab last night?" may be a favourite conversation starter with taxi drivers, but one cabbie now has a new answer to add to the list, after being tricked into ferrying a mannequin across London – all under the premise that it was a sleeping 'friend' who would pay the fare.

The driver had picked up what he thought was a trio of passengers in Brighton and taken them to the capital as part of a £140 trip. Stopping to drop off two of the passengers at addresses in London, the second passenger gave the driver another location where he could drop off their sleeping friend.

However, when the driver got out of the cab to wake the third passenger he discovered that it was nothing more than a mannequin dressed in men's clothes and wearing a hat - leaving him significantly out of pocket and more than slightly embarrassed.

The cabbie known as 'Stutter' stopped to pick up the men at Brighton train station late at night and agreed on the £140 fare. The three figures got into the taxi and headed to London, with two of them saying their mate was 'sleeping', reports the Daily Mail.

Andy Cheesman, boss at CityCabs – the company that manages the Brighton cab – told the Daily Mail: "It has been the funniest thing which has happened to one of our drivers. You can imagine the stick the driver got from the other workers when he got back to Brighton - it was hilarious."