max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C


Poll: Felixstowe Port lorry driver broke hours limit to earn more cash

23:42 18 April 2014

Lorry driver failed to take enough breaks

Lorry driver failed to take enough breaks


A lorry driver who was facing a ban for drink-driving exceeded his permitted driving hours in a bid to increase his earnings, a court has heard.


Mark O’Donovan, who drove lorries to and from Felixstowe Port, failed to keep proper tachograph records during a month- long period which started shortly after he was stopped for driving a car with excess alcohol, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

“In anticipation of a period of disqualification, he embarked on a profitable period of working beyond his permitted hours,” said Jason Stevens, prosecuting.

O’Donovan, 43, of Grantham Avenue, Great Cornard, admitted 14 offences of knowingly make a false tachograph entry and failing to make a relevant tachograph entry from January 5 to January 31, 2012.

The court heard that O’Donovan was driving his partner’s car when he was stopped on suspicion of drink-driving on Christmas Day 2011.

Mr Stevens said that during an investigation into the tachograph offences in January 2012 records of drivers entering and leaving Felixstowe docks and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) recordings were checked.

Sentencing O’Donovan to a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, Recorder Guy Ayers described the offences as “extremely serious” and said the hours lorry drivers were permitted to work were limited to prevent overtired drivers being on the road.

“I have the strong view that your motivation for interfering with the proper working of the tachograph was to increase your earnings before your forthcoming ban,” said the judge.

In addition to the suspended prison sentence, O’Donovan was banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £2,500 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

Howard Catherall, for O’Donovan, said at the time of the tachograph offences his client’s father had been seriously ill and his relationship with his girlfriend had ended.

He claimed that O’Donovan’s world had “come crashing down” and he had sought solace in work. He denied the tachograph offences were financially motivated and said his client was now working as a lorry driver in Canada.

Dan Poulter with employees at B&Q

A Suffolk MP has said he will do what he can to try and prevent a B&Q store closing down with the potential loss of around 100 jobs.

Rod Kiddell

Rod Kiddell, former editor of the EADT and Evening Star, died recently, aged 72. Today, his son Tim Kiddell, and former colleagues, pay tribute to him.

Police are hunting for three man after a man was stabbed in the chest in Ipswich last night.

Children's mental health problems are increasing in Suffolk. PA/PA Wire

A worrying increase in the need for mental health treatment in Suffolk was revealed on Saturday. But what is behind this rise?

Bury Magistrates Court.

Only a few days remain for people to object to government proposals to cut the number of magistrates’ courts in Suffolk.

Dr Daniel Poulter MP

Former health minister Dan Poulter had accused the Government of imposing excessive working hours and compromising patient safety with its new junior doctor contracts.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Trains running between Essex and Suffolk and the capital face delays, alterations and cancellations this morning due to a defective piece of track at Harold Wood.

Abellio Greater Anglia

Rail operators hope to reopen blocked lines at Needham Market, closed after a body was found on the tracks close to the railway station, in the next 25 minutes.

Ipswich mayor Glen Chisholm has a largely ceremonial role - but could Suffolk and Norfolk have an executive mayor in future?

There will be no meaningful devolution in East Anglian without a directly-elected mayor for Suffolk and Norfolk.

Groton Church north aisle - lead partly stripped

A Suffolk church has become the ninth in recent weeks to be targeted by lead thieves.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages