A company director in charge of an animal waste plant in Denholme has been fined £300,000 for failing to make sure lorry drivers he employed properly logged their hours.

Daniel Sawrij, 43, a director at the Halifax-based Leo Group, was ordered to pay the fine, along with £150,000 in prosecution costs, when he appeared at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Earlier this month he admitted 134 charges of failing to ensure lorry drivers logged their hours while he was director of Alba Transport, part of the Leo Group but now in liquidation. Over a two-month period, 2,000 hours were wrongly recorded.

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency uncovered the failings after it began investigating two years ago. They looked at more than 160,000 driver hours over a two-month period.

Sawrij, of Pule Hill Farm, Swalesmoor Road, Halifax, had a further eight charges put to him linked to not releasing paperwork when requested, which he also admitted.

A spokesman for Leo Group said the company was looking into if it had grounds to appeal the size of the fine.

Heather Cruickshank, Vosa’s Operations Director said: “Vosa will always take robust action against operators who deliberately flout the law and there could be serious consequences as this case shows.

“These operators not only take the risk of severe financial penalties from the courts but they could also lose their good name and gain a criminal record.”

A statement from the Leo Group said: “Today marks the end of a case which now enables us to focus on moving forward our business, and continuing to invest in Calderdale and Bradford and its people that we employ.

“For 20 years, we were consistently audited by both Vosa and an external transport company. For the avoidance of doubt, at no time was it identified that the recording systems in place at that time were not effective or not good practice.

“During the Vosa investigation in 2011, our vehicles completed no fewer than 160,000 driver hours in three months. Of these, Vosa identified just 2,000 hours – 1.25 per cent – as being wrongly recorded but chose to prosecute for each and every separate technical mistake by the drivers.”

The company stressed that there were no charges relating to drivers running illegally over their allotted hours and said it had taken steps to ensure drivers and vehicles had upgraded reporting systems, including using an external Vosa-accredited expert to carry out regular audits.