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Six drivers convicted of tachograph fiddling By Roger Brown SIX

23rd May 2013, Page 6
23rd May 2013
Page 6
Page 6, 23rd May 2013 — Six drivers convicted of tachograph fiddling By Roger Brown SIX
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DRIVERS employed by Northern Ireland haulage firm Arnold Transport have been handed suspended prison sentences after investigators discovered tachograph-interrupter devices fitted to the firm's vehicles.

In a Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) prosecution, Omagh Crown Court was told how Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and DVA enforcement officers conducted a joint enforcement operation into the firm based in Omagh, County Tyrone, in August 2011.

Several trucks and a large quantity of documents and tachograph charts were seized, after the PSNI executed a warrant to enter and search the operator's vehicles and premises in Newtownstewart.

DVA enforcement officers examined the paperwork and analysed tacho records, as well as other data relating to the movements of the company trucks.

The thorough analysis identified that rest periods had been recorded by the tachograph recording equipment, while other evidence clearly showed that the vehicles were still moving. Interrupter devices, which had been fitted to the trucks, had enabled employees to continue driving by simulating that the vehicle was stationary. As a result, the false tachograph records were created.

Dean Arnold, 25, as well as Lee Nugent, 31, both of Newtownstewart, were sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, for tachograph and drivers' hours forgery offences under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.

Kelso Ritchie, 36, of Ballyclare, and Graham Walker, 41, of Omagh, were sentenced to 15 months suspended for two years. Charles Donnell, 36, from Donegal, and Michael McGinley, 30, of Newtownstewart, were sentenced to six months, suspended for two years.

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