Brackmills acquitted: charge was wrong
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• Defence arguments that 13rackmills Haulage and one of its drivers had been charged under the wrong regulations were accepted by the Daventry Magistrates last week when the court dismissed a series of alleged offences relating to a special types movement.
The Kettering-based company and driver Robert Errington had denied failing to notify the movement, failing to carry the required number of attendants, and using a vehicle and trailer with too great an overhang.
Police Constable John Crane said that he had stopped a Volvo tractor drawing a stonecrushing machine fitted with its own wheels, There had been no braking system fitted to the rear axle and the front axle had consisted of a fifth-wheel dolly. He had established that the combination had been travelling without a movement order. From the centre of the rear axle the overhang had been 9.8m and the combination had had an overall length of 27.4m.
Ian Rothera, defending, argued that the first two charges duplicated each other. The fact that two of the conditions set out in Regulation 82 of the Construction & Use Regulations had not been compiled with, rather than one, did not mean that two separate offences had been committed. The overhang allegation was surprising, said Rothera, rather than an allegation about the overall length of the combination, which could have been brought under Regulation 7, of the C&U Regulations. The allegation with regard to the overhang had been brought under Regulation 11, concerned with the construction of motor vehicles only. There was no overhang limit prescribed by the regulations dealing with trailers, and there was no relevant regulation for a trailed piece of engineering plant and equipment.
The magistrates granted a request that the defence costs be paid out of public funds.