A coach driver from Saracen’s Head has been given a suspended prison sentence for breaching tachograph regulations.
Bevin Beckley (42), who was working for Prestige Coaches at the time of the offences, admitted five breaches of regulations and was given a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years and £500 costs.
Leigh Robbins (52), trading as Prestige Coaches, of Pethley Lane, Pointon, admitted eight breaches of regulations between 2011 and 2012. He was given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years and £500 costs.
The court heard that a check on the coach firm revealed that a driver recorded as undertaking journeys could not have been behind the wheel as she was actually working for a different company in the UK at the same time.
Teresa Hay, prosecuting, said the records showed that the tachograph card for Mr Robbins’ daughter had been used for up to 30 journeys when she could not have been driving.
Miss Hay said: “On a significant number of these journeys apparently done by her she was actually at work with her employer Trent Barton as a bus driver.
“She holds a PCV licence to drive automatic vehicles. She recalled that she had driven for her father but always in an automatic vehicle. The 30 or so journeys attributed to her were on a manual vehicle.”
Miss Hay said the tachograph card was most often used immediately after Mr Beckley’s card, during journeys made by him to the continent.
The prosecutor told the court that Mr Robbins, as owner of the company, had a legal duty to check the records and should have spotted the discrepancies.
Miss Hay said: “This case involves the falsification of drivers’ work records. These are records required by law to be made by drivers and kept by operators of public service vehicles to maintain compliance with EU regulations regarding drivers’ hours.”
She said the purpose of the regulations was to ensure that drivers did not work excessive hours and so create a safety issue.
Stewart Neale, for Robbins, said the offences arose at a time when he was ill and he had trusted another person to take charge of his business.
Faye Mellor, for Beckley, of Sluice Road, said her client accepted the regulations were not adhered to.
She described him as a hard-working man who had a previous exemplary record.