An operator with links to disqualified director Stephen Holding - imprisoned last year for encouraging drivers to work dangerously long hours - has had its licence application refused for “unauthorised operations”.
Traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton said SPH Plant was not of good repute after it entered into a business arrangement with a dissolved Northern Irish business whose licence had also been revoked.
Loughview Logistics had been dissolved in July 2016, yet SPH Plant’s vehicles had been operating under its revoked licence until 22 December.
SPH appointed 65-year-old director Douglas Hemmings as a “mentor” to 18-year-old director Simon Holding, son of Stephen – disqualified indefinitely last year.
However, TC Denton said: “Mr Hemmings failed dismally in this task. He has entirely failed to prevent SPH Plant from operating without authorisation and has exhibited breathtaking complacency about this failure at the inquiry.”
The TC added: “I have made no finding on the question of whether SPH Plant is a front for Simon Holding’s father Stephen Holding. “There are substantial indications it might be.”
Official records show that SPH Plant’s links to Stephen Holding also stretch to a second director, who resigned on 6 January.
Beverley Fenton was named as Stephen Holding’s girlfriend in a written decision by TC Nick Jones last October.
She had been appointed as a director of six of Holding’s previous businesses.