Lorry driver, 60, sacked for hiding road time

Douglas Ainsworth, aged 60, was sacked from his full time job at haulage firm RHP Transport Limited, in Telford, when the offences came to light last summer. Checks of his digital tachograph card, which record driver’s hours, revealed that on multiple occasions he had driven for more than four and a half hours without a minimum break of 45 minutes, contrary to the Transport Act 1986. The court heard that on one occasion he removed his tachograph card when he had driven for four-and-a-half hours and carried on driving for another 38 minutes.

Miss Olivia Maginn, prosecuting barrister on behalf of the Driving Standards Agency, said: “The defendant having pleaded guilty to six false record offences as a result of an investigation of some drivers at the company that he worked for. There were six instances where he drove close to the four and a half hours limit before taking a break and he has taken his card out to conceal this.” “In his interview he admits all the offences .

He said there were time pressures carrying out jobs which are not always realistic and he had raised it with the operations manager.There is never any suggestion that the company knew what he was doing. He said he did it because he wanted to get home to his wife who recently became disabled and says his actions were stupid,” she added. The defendant, of Woodrows, in Woodside, Telford, has a previous conviction for failing to produce tacograph records in 2008 for which he was fined ?350.

Ainsworth,who admitted the latest offences at a previous hearing, told Shrewsbury Crown Court that he was sacked from RHP based, in Lightmoor, when the matters came to light in July last year. Defending himself Ainsworth said: “I did it not for financial gain, but to get back to my wife so I can help her. She can’t get up the stairs on her own.

The one day I didn’t get back in time for her, she was mugged. I have lost my job and my licence has been suspended until November 3. I’m just doing bits of agency work when I can get it.

I can drive vehicles up to 7.5 tonnes on my car licence.” Judge Jonathan Gosling sentenced him four months in prison suspended for 12 months on all six charges to run concurrently. He must also carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community, pay ?200 costs and ?115 victims’ surcharge.

“This was in my mind a flagrant disregard of the regulations that have been put in place to ensure the safety of of others road users.

Lorries in the hands of drivers who fail to adhere to then creates a danger.

That is why the rules are so strict.”

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