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Helston haulier admits 141 offences and appeals

By West Briton  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

  • Haulage company boss Robert Benney going into Truro Magistrates' Court. Ref:TRJJ20121109C-002_C

  • Haulage company boss Robert Benney going into Truro Magistrates' Court.

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A HAULIER put people at "great risk" by flouting the laws governing HGV driving limits and trying to cover it up, a court has ruled.

Robert Thomas Benney, of Trenethick Parc, Helston, was banned from driving but left court legally allowed to continue after he appealed his sentence.

Mr Benney was stripped of his heavy goods operating licence in April after appearing before the Traffic Commissioner for the West of England, who called him "unfit to manage the transport activities".

He appeared before Truro magistrates on Friday for sentencing after pleading guilty to 141 offences, as an operator of Helston-based Robert Benney Transport and individually. These included 10 counts of using a vehicle without an operating licence and numerous offences related to tachographs, including 19 counts of failing to keep records and 28 counts of false records for the times drivers had been out on the road. A further 81 offences were taken into account.

He was stripped of his driver's licence for 12 months and fined £2,200, with £3,000 costs – a reduction on the £15,000 requested by the prosecutors. However, magistrates rejected his request to pay £15 a month, claiming bankruptcy. He was ordered to pay £150 a month.

Passing sentence, chairman of the bench Paula Johns said: "We have found these offences to be very serious and taking into account your experience, your position in the company and your previous record for similar offences ... you put the public at great risk."

His solicitor, Christopher Over, argued Benney would be left unable to work if his driver's license was revoked. He immediately appealed the sentence, which was granted.

His appeal will now be held in Crown Court.

After his sentence, Benney called the sentence "harsh".

Ian Gould, regional investigations manager for VOSA, which led the investigation, said its aim was to improve road safety by ensuring the legal driving time limits and other safety legislation for HGV drivers were enforced.

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  • Thomas_1000  |  November 20 2012, 12:04PM

    I have known Robert Benney all of his life, he's only a young man trying to make a living in this officious bureaucracy laden country of ours. Yes perhaps he did bend the rules a little but then hasn't everyone some time in there lives? How about our more than righteous members of parliament? And there up in Whitehall making rules and regulations for us the general public to adhere too. What a bunch of hypocrites. If there is a man with a perfect past history let him cast the first stone, we have too many little officious full of Importance busy bodies always sticking there noses into other peoples business. I know they have a job to do, but the day is coming when nobody will be working in this wonderful country of ours, and then we shall end up a third world country, then I suppose they will be satisfied.

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  • bombheads12  |  November 15 2012, 10:02AM

    So "After his sentence, Benney called the sentence "harsh"." Well i will be blowed ive known drivers to be banned for 3 YEARS from driving with only one Tacho offence! Mr Benney should be grateful he is not in jail! would anyone care to explain why he is not?

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