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Frys Logistics fined for tachograph offences

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Frys Logistics has been fined for tachograph offences discovered after one of its lorry drivers caused the death of two cyclists.

Mark Fry, 31, of Trerice, Boyton, the owner/operator of Frys Logistics, Launceston, appeared before Bodmin magistrates and pleaded guilty to three offences of failing to make a relevant record/entry for Community Recording Equipment Regulations on May 1, May 12 and June 3, 2013.

The offences came to light after an investigation following the double fatality on July 2, 2013, which led to an eight-and-a half-year jail term for Robert Palmer, who was working for Fry's company at the time.

Felicity Hine, prosecuting on behalf of the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said that tachographs were seized from the company at the request of the Devon and Cornwall Police serious collisions investigations unit.

It was discovered that Fry had failed to record on tachographs the walk-round checks of a vehicle he was due to drive, as well as office and maintenance work carried out, as required under the law.

Furthermore on June 3 he had been on duty for 15 hours and 49 minutes, which would not have left him with enough time to take the nine-hour rest break required within each 24-hour period.

Hine told the court that Fry had no previous convictions, reports the Cornish Guardian.

Paul Atkinson, for the defence, said that the fatal accident had involved driver error by Palmer and that following a public inquiry by the Traffic Commissioner for the South West no action had been taken against Fry regarding his operators' licence.

There were no charges against his company or against him as a director in connection with the tachograph offences – he was before the court in his role as a driver for the firm.

He had a clean licence and was a member of the local Road Hauliers' Association.

He had made a "common mistake" in failing to record the other things he was doing at work on the days he was driving. There was "no deliberate falsification", he simply should have kept a manual log and didn't, the court heard.

Atkinson said that Fry had now taken on a transport manager.

Chairman of the bench Geoff Cole, fining Fry £415 with £651.60 costs and a £42 victim surcharge, told him: "This was an omission rather than a deliberate effort to falsify but you work in the industry and understand the rules of the industry."

Robert Palmer, 32, of Grimscott Estate, Bude, was jailed in 2014 after pleading guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of Andrew McMenigall, 47, and Toby Wallace, 46, as they cycled from Land's End to John o Groats on a charity ride on July 2, 2013.

He was also convicted of causing serious injuries to a driver in a second incident, also on the A30, while on bail.

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