A LORRY driver repeatedly broke the law about driving hours because he was under pressure from his now former transport manager to perform "impossible tasks", York magistrates heard.

Gary Michael Sharp, 47, who works for a York employer, admitted three charges of making false records by taking his driver's card out of the machine that recorded his driving hours, and five of driving without the statutory rest periods.

The offences were committed between November 19 and December 15.

York magistrates heard that throughout that period he was driving a 44-tonne heavy goods vehicle all over England.

Magistrates ordered him to pay a total of £2,502, including £1,200 in fines, £1,262 prosecution costs and a £40 statutory surcharge. Representing himself, Sharp, of St Luke's Green, Beeston, said he had been under pressure to complete journeys in set times.

"The transport manager, he was a bit forceful in pushing you, and that is why I took the card out," he said.

"We were under a lot of pressure to get to places. He was giving us impossible tasks to do. I should have stopped and refused to do them.

"He has now left and it is back to normal."

Olivia Maginn, prosecuting for the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, said by taking his driving card out, Sharp tried to hide the fact that he wasn't taking his statutory breaks.

On one day, he should have taken nine hours in breaks, but only took eight hours and 26 minutes. On a second, he took eight hours and 13 minutes in breaks instead of nine hours, and on a third eight hours and 31 minutes instead of nine hours.

On another occasion, he should have taken 11 hours' break but only took 10 hours and 5 minutes.

He also failed to take sufficient breaks over shorter periods.

The offences were committed on November 19 and from December 11 to December 15.