A HGV driver who failed to activate his tachograph on nine occasions has narrowly avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Ian Robertson removed his registration card to enable him to continue driving above the legally permitted time period while he was working for a haulage company.

Recorder David Gordon criticised the lorry driver 'arrogance' as he continues to deny doing anything illegal despite his conviction.

"You engaged, quite deliberately, in periods of driving in breach of these break requirements," he said.

"There was periods of driving being done without a tachograph card being inserted – that was the evidence clearly and cogently presented to the jury.

"You pleaded not guilty and you still assert your innocence, with a degree of arrogance."

Steven Reed, in mitigation, said the offences took place in 2017 and his client had committed no further offences since that date.

Mr Reed said Robertson made no 'personal gain' from his offending and suffered from poor health, including having cancer of the throat which he is due have an operation in the coming weeks.

Robertson, of Belton Close, Washington, was sentenced to nine months in custody, suspended for 18 months. The 62-year-old was also made subject to a curfew between 9pm and 7am for six months.

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