“For 20 years we were audited by VOSA and an external transport company.
At no time was it identified that the recording systems in place at that time were not effective or not good practice.
During the VOSA investigation in 2011, our vehicles completed no fewer than 160,000 driver hours in three months. Of these, VOSA identified just 2,000 hours – 1.25 per cent – as being wrongly recorded but choose to prosecute for each and every separate technical mistake by the drivers.
There were no charges relating to drivers running illegally over their allotted hours.”
The Leo Group was responding after a court case in which a director of the company, Steven Sawrij of Swales Moor Road, Ploughcroft, Halifax, was told to pay £300,000 after pleading guilty to 134 similar counts regarding the failed recordings of drivers hours employed by his animal waste firm Alba transport (part of the Halifax-based Leo Group) - which has since gone into liquidation.
The total fine also covered eight charges of failing to disclose documents to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), which Sawrij again pleaded guilty to.
He has agreed to pay prosecution costs of £150,000 and magistrates issued a £15 surcharge, bringing his total to £450,015.