P Elsagood Transport Services has had its O-licence application for four vehicles and trailers refused following a public inquiry (PI) into the previous convictions and background of its sole director.
In a written decision following the October PI in Eastbourne, John Baker, South East deputy traffic commissioner (TC), refused the application for a standard international licence from the London-based firm run by Peter Elsagood, saying it failed to satisfy the requirement to be of good repute. In July 2002 Elsagood applied for a sole trader licence and was granted an interim licence.
A full licence was refused on the ground that the transport manager had resigned and no replacement had been found. In February 2003, Elsagood was convicted of conspiracy to import class A drugs - heroin and cocaine - and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Reports said a truck fitted with a false air tank was used to commit the crime, the drugs found had a street value of £850,000 and during sentencing the judge said that at least two trips had been made in the vehicle. In 1991 Elsagood had been convicted of the theft, with another, of an HGV trailer loaded with stolen mushrooms.
He was declared bankrupt in 1999. Elsagood was called as a witness in June 2018 at a conjoined PI to consider O-licence applications by KD Demolition, Total Logistics and MPS Freight, having previously been an employee of a linked company called MPS Enterprises.
Elsagood said he had no knowledge of O-licence disc sub-contracting arrangements that were scrutinised at the PI, and that his role at MPS Enterprises was as an employee. In his written decision, deputy TC Baker said positives were that Elsagood had not been convicted of any offence since release from prison in 2009, nor recalled while on licence, and that proposed transport manager Mathew Hodgins came across as mature and reputable.
However, the major feature on the negative side was the 2003 conviction for conspiracy to supply drugs. The TC added: “This resulted in a 14-year prison sentence and while much was made of the fact that Mr Elsagood was released from prison in 2009 in fact the sentence was not concluded until 2017 as the remainder of the total term was served in the community.
“It was also the case that the offence involved the illegal use of an HGV specially adapted to carry the drugs and it appears that at the time Mr Elsagood had either been granted an interim licence or was operating before the licence came into effect - either scenario has negative connotations.” The deputy TC said there was conflicting evidence as to how much knowledge Elsagood had of the sub-contracting arrangements discussed at the June PI but noted the comments in TC Sarah Bell’s earlier written decision saying she “placed limited weight on his evidence”.
He added: “Mr Elsagood’s involvement with MPS Enterprises is an additional negative feature in the balance.” Elsagood is appealing the decision.