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Directors jailed for falsifying tachographs

View profile for Sean Joyce
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Two company directors have received prison sentences for their part in a conspiracy to falsify drivers’ hours records. Patrick James Boyle, 65, and Mark Anthony Boyle, 36, were directors of Boyle Transport, based in Northern Ireland.
The two were jailed after pleading guilty at Carlisle Crown Court. Mark Boyle received 18 months imprisonment while Patrick Boyle received 2 years imprisonment - the maximum sentence for this offence.
Their convictions were the conclusion of a long-running investigation by Cumbria Constabulary and VOSA, codenamed Operation Cadillac. A number of vehicles were seized in October 2008 and were found to have evidence of interference with their digital tachographs.
Further investigation into Boyle Transport revealed that all of the digital tachographs owned by the company had been interfered with. It was also revealed that some of the company’s drivers had been driving heavy goods vehicles for up to 22 hours a day, well in excess of the maximum permitted 10 hours.
Fifteen of the company’s drivers also pleaded guilty at the hearing and received suspended prison sentences. Many of the drivers had cooperated with the police and VOSA during the investigation while others had offered to assist the prosecution. Judge Hughes QC in sentencing the drivers made it clear that but for this cooperation they would have received 12 month prison sentences.
Sergeant Grahame Hodgson of Cumbria Constabulary’s Road Policing Unit stressed that operators who systematically violate drivers hours records not only obtain an unfair financial advantage, but also put innocent road users at risk:
“This has been a serious, long running investigation that saw employers manipulate their staff into taking serious risks on the road. By ignoring legislation and having drivers on the road for up to 22 hours a day risks lives – not only of the drivers themselves, but other innocent road users. The legislation should provide a level playing field for all hauliers. By extending the driving done by each driver the company was able to undercut deliveries on cost and time, placing further pressure on struggling competitors who work within the legislation and who may otherwise be tempted to follow suit.”
Patrick and Mark Boyle were also disqualified from acting as company directors and will now face proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act to consider confiscation of the their assets.
This case demonstrates the severe penalties which can be imposed for offences of falsifying or interfering with drivers hours records. If you have been prosecuted for similar offences you should contact seek legal advice without delay. To speak to one of our transport lawyers, please feel free to call 01616 966 229.