Transport manager that stole from business loses appeal to regain repute

Commercial Motor
May 10, 2018


A transport manager who had been convicted of theft has failed to regain her good repute in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

Yvonne Bartram, who worked as transport manager for four operators, had pleaded guilty in 2016 to three offences of theft which she described as overdrawing her “capital account over three accounting periods due to forecasting my profit share” in a medical practice in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, where she had worked until November 2010.

The sentence of Cambridge Crown Court was two years imprisonment for each offence, to run concurrently, suspended for two years. There was also a proceeds of crime confiscation order of £73,090.

The appeal revealed some confusion over the date when these convictions would become “spent’, which would allow Bartram to work as a transport manager again because she would have undergone the appropriate rehabilitation period.

In a written decision released this month Upper Tribunal judge Howard Levenson clarified that the sentence will be spent in October 2022; four years after the expiry of the sentence period in October 2018.

Because of the confusion over when the sentence would become spent Judge Levenson did allow the appeal to succeed, but he said that this was “in a technical sense only”.

He then substituted his own decision, which was also for a loss of good repute.

In his written decision he said: “When it comes down to it, the appellant pleaded guilty to serious offences of dishonesty by virtue of which she accepted shae that had stolen from her partners, to the extent of at least £73,000. These were really gross breaches of trust. Were it to be decided that the appellant had not lost her good repute, she would be at liberty to become a transport manager on any licence – not just on operations conducted by her own family or those she has known well for a long time.

"I really cannot see that that a finding of loss of repute and an indeterminate disqualification in all of the circumstances of this case can be regarded as anything other than appropriate and proportionate responses.”

However the judge also quoted the words of deputy traffic commissioner (DTC) Marcia Davis in her decision letter of last December, where she noted that Bartram took great pride in her transport manager role.

The DTC wrote: “I have noted that Mrs Bartram expressed real pride in being a transport manager (TM). She continues to work for the four operators she used to as TM ... whilst they seek to appoint new TM. She stated that she felt very passionate about it and has gained a reputation as a good TM. Other operators have approached her.

"Mrs Bartram instils in all operators the importance of the undertakings. She would never put her name to a licence if the operator was not cooperative. [Her] husband spends a good period of time looking over the vehicles in [their] yard. Acting as a TM has been a big part of her life and she very much regrets that she has lost her repute. Mrs Bartram keeps up to date and has recently attended the Managing Operators Licence course ... Mrs Bartram is not averse to seeking guidance and assistance from the DVSA and is a member of the RHA.”

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