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Haulier given six months to pay over £66,000 or face prison

A Co Armagh haulier appeared at Craigavon Crown Court on Friday in relation to a £66,982 confiscation order resulting from a conviction on December 17, 2012, for fraud.

The owner, Richard Samuel Dewart, (46), of Moss Road, Waringstown, who was previously sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for three years, for fraud offences, has been allowed six months to pay the money or face 18 months imprisonment.

The confiscation related to a joint investigation by the Driver & Vehicle Agency ( DVA ) and PSNI officers into vehicles operated by Dewart Transport, Moss Road, Waringstown.

On February 26, 2011, DVA and PSNI Road Policing Unit conducted a joint enforcement operation that included the examination of vehicles owned by Dewart Transport.

Following the execution of a PSNI warrant to enter / search several of the hauliers’ vehicles, a number were seized on grounds that tachograph interrupter devices had been installed and which had the capability of disabling the tachograph and speed limiter if activated. In addition, numerous tachograph records and various documents were also seized.

Detailed examination of the documentation and tachograph records was undertaken by DVA Enforcement Officers, as was other data pertaining to the movements of the vehicles. Further analysis of this identified where rest periods had been recorded by the tachograph recording equipment, yet other evidence showed the continued movement of the vehicles.

In these instances it was proven that an interrupter device had been activated to enable the driver to continue driving by simulating that the vehicle was stationary and, as a result, false tachograph records were created. It was established that not only were these devices being used by his employed drivers, but that Richard Dewart had also used them while driving.

In an earlier date at Craigavon Crown Court, three drivers employed by Dewart Transport received suspended prison sentences.

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