Boss faces heavy fine over his lorry drivers’ unlogged hours

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A WEALTHY company director is facing the prospect of a large fine and must pay £150,000 costs following a major Government agency investigation into his firm’s transport arm.

Danny Sawrij, 43, a director at the Halifax-based Leo Group, which transports animal waste, admitted 134 charges of failing to ensure his lorry drivers logged their hours, with 130 identical matters being taken into consideration.

When the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency began probing the company’s practices, Sawrij, of Pule Hill Farm, Swales Moor Road, Halifax, failed to disclose documents, resulting in a further eight charges relating to not releasing paperwork, which he also admitted.

At Huddersfield magistrates’ court yesterday, prosecutor Miles Bennett said the “vast investigation” centred on Alba Transport Limited, formerly part of the Leo Group, and revealed that in one month more than 2,000 driving hours had not been logged.

He said Sawrij even contacted Companies House to say he had resigned as a director. The “sham resignation” led to him appearing before Leeds Crown Court on a charge of perverting the course of justice but the prosecution offered no evidence and it was dropped.

Alba Transport was put into liquidation two days after 
Sawrij made his first court appearance.

Mark Laprell, mitigating, accepted his client should have been monitoring log books but said there was no evidence drivers were doing excess hours.

Sentencing was adjourned.