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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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Cumbrian man denies falsifying tachograph records

Two men have denied being part of a conspiracy to make bogus truck records.

John Watson, 46, of Oulton near Wigton, and Shaun Elliott, 42, of Hexham, both appeared at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday.

They are alleged to have falsified tachograph records detailing their trucks’ activity while they were working for Ross International, a haulage firm based in Easton, near Wigton, between May 31, 2009 and July 1, 2010. The company’s owners also owned another company of the same name in the same industry based in Bellshill, near Glasgow.

It is alleged their records showed them taking legally required breaks when they were actually driving their vehicles for work.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said: “For many decades now it has been the law that HGVs, and other specialist vehicles have to be fitted with tachographs.”

Mr Evans added: “The critical aim behind all of this is seeking to promote road safety. As you well know, HGVs are huge vehicles, if they are driven by those who are tired and, in particular, if the driver falls asleep, accidents of the utmost severity can result.”

The jury of four women and eight men were then given specific examples the two defendants’ alleged actions.

Mr Evans said there were 11 false records relating to Watson and four connected to Elliott.

He gave one example for each defendant.

Mr Evans added that at another time when Elliott was recorded as having been on a break, his vehicle was spotted on roads in Nottinghamshire and County Durham.

Both Watson and Elliott have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to make false instruments.

The trial continues.

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