Former convict's licence application denied

O-licence

A haulage firm’s O-licence application has been refused after deputy traffic commissioner (TC) John Baker heard evidence that the operator had previously been sentenced to 14 years in prison for supplying drugs.

On his application for an O-licence to run four HGVs and four trailers under the company name P Elsagood Transport Services, Elsagood disclosed a 2003 conviction for conspiracy to import class A drugs using a vehicle fitted with a false air tank. He was subsequently called to a public inquiry (PI) to discuss his conviction.

An Eastbourne PI heard from proposed transport manager Matthew Hodgins, who said if he suspected anything untoward then he would leave the business and explain his reasons to the TC.

Baker said he had to balance the positive and negative factors to decide whether Elsagood had good repute. In a written decision, he noted that the applicant had not been convicted of any offences since being released from prison in 2009 and that Hodgins appeared to be mature and reputable. However, the length of the prison sentence and the fact that it did not conclude until 2017 were negative factors.

Baker also referred to Elsagood’s “instrumental” involvement, while employed by MPS Enterprises, in setting up an arrangement where hauliers were offered subcontracted work by a company that did not hold a licence. He concluded: “I am not satisfied that the applicant company has the repute required…and refuse this application accordingly.”

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