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Friday, 11 July 2014

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Cumbrian haulage boss and drivers faked tachograph records

A director and four county-based drivers with a north Cumbrian haulage firm have been sentenced for a tachograph scam.

William Ross photo
William Ross

They were dealt with at Carlisle Crown Court today after a three year police and VOSA investigation.

In total, 17 drivers and managers with Ross International, run from Criffel View, Wigton and Ross International Haulage Ltd, run from an unauthorised address in Glasgow, were sentenced.

Among them was company director William Ross, who ran the businesses in partnership with his wife, Laura.

William Ross, 42, of Easton, Wigton, was jailed for two years, disqualified from driving for 18 months and banned from being a company director for five years. He had previous convictions for false records and was jailed for four months by Stafford Crown Court in September 1995.

Of the drivers who admitted the offences,

  • Allan Lockerbie, 54, of Carlisle, 48 offences, sentenced to eight months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for 12 months
  • Andrew William Sherburn, 39, of Maryport, 22 offences, sentenced to six months and banned from driving for nine months
  • Darren Riley, aged 41, of Cheviot Road, Carlisle, was sentenced to four months suspended for two years and disqualified from driving for six months.

Driver John Mark Watson, 45, of Oulton, near Wigton, was convicted of nine offences after a trial and sentenced to eight months in prison and banned from driving for nine months.

Robert Robertson, 47, of Glasgow, was sentenced to 18 months and banned from driving for 18 months. He was the manager at the Glasgow operation, heard the court.

Raids on the firm's premises at Wigton and Glasgow led to the seizing of tachograph records, which revealed about 182 false records.

Analysis showed 350,000 kilometres missing for 10 vehicles over the year to June 1, 2010.

When interviewed, drivers said they used various methods to interrupt tachograph recordings, allowing them to exceed their driving time or drive during a required rest period.

The court heard there was an atmosphere of bullying and intimidation and drivers made it clear they had to break the rules to keep their jobs.

The Ross' set up Ross International Haulage Ltd to operate from Glasgow and it did not have a Goods Vehicle Operators Licence. Most of the drivers that committed offences worked for this part of the business.


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