Director disqualified for driving HGVs without a licence
An operator who drove HGVs without the required entitlement has had its licence revoked and the director disqualified for two years.
Wayne Sandham, director of Holywell-based Sandham Groundworks, was stopped in a roadside check in 2018, but he gave the traffic examiner the name Joseph Sandham instead.
He claimed to have left his driving licence at home, but checks revealed that Joseph Sandham did not hold the necessary entitlements to drive and North Wales police were called to assist.
A fortnight later the police informed the DVSA that the driver had in fact been Wayne Sandham and he only held a provisional driving entitlement to drive a car.
Tacho offences were also discovered.
In August 2019, Wayne Sandham was convicted of perverting the course of justice and he received a six-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months and 200 hours of unpaid community work.
At a subsequent public inquiry, acting TC for Wales Nick Jones heard how the family business had now reduced in size, from 33 employees to five, which included Wayne, his wife Anwen and son Owen.
Wayne explained he had removed himself as a director and it was now run by Anwen and Owen.
A factor put forward in mitigation was that maintenance was good, but it then emerged the company had an OCRS score for both roadworthiness and traffic of red.
Additionally, the MOT first time fail rate was significantly higher than the national average.
In a written decision, the TC said Wayne’s knowledge of O-licensing was “pitifully poor”.
He said: “His driving vehicles whilst never holding (until very recently) any form of full driving licence reflects a poor understanding of and ability to be compliant with a regulatory regime.
“His lack of knowledge and skills and his blatant dishonesty resulting in his conviction is such that I don’t trust this operator.“
I am of the firm view that an order that did not include one of personal disqualification of Wayne Sandham would be wholly wrong, perhaps even perverse.”
He added that neither Anwen nor Owen were particularly impressive either but he was satisfied that with appropriate undertakings the family business might exist in some form in the future.
As a result, he did not disqualify the company but said any future licence application would need to include assurances and undertakings and that a PI would probably be required.