Essex coach driver fined £2000 after two migrants hid in his coach without him knowing

Driver Lawrence Bourne is outraged that his appeal to the Home Office has been rejected

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Lawrence Bourne, co-owner of L&R Transport in Wickford, faces a £2000 fine after finding two migrants hiding in his coach at Calais in October 2014.

The migrants had used a crowbar to enter the coach’s luggage compartment before Bourne found them near the ferry terminal in Calais.

He alerted the authorities and believed it was the end of the incident until he received a fine from the Home Office this summer. Bourne wrote to the Home Office to appeal the £2000 fine but it was upheld by the government department.

Watch the interview above to see what Bourne thinks of the government’s efforts to handle the migrant crisis in Calais.

The coach driver has been told that if he fails to pay the fine, the Home Office will seize one of the company’s coaches.

Bourne believes that the fine is debilitating to a small company like L&R Transport. “It’s not the sort of money we can just pluck out of thin air… we work hard at what we do but £2000 takes a lot of earning. In our industry you’re never going to be rich – you’re lucky if you earn a living basically.”

“Everybody is saying - how can the British government hold you to ransom like this to pay a fine when all you’re doing is trying to run a business and do the best you can.”

Bourne thinks that the situation in Calais is getting out of control and believes the government response has not been effective.

“There’s a warzone out of Calais. There are drivers who are having knives put to them… and what’s been done about it? David Cameron has gone on holiday… we’re being made to do the British government’s job for them basically because they’re not controlling the situation.”

Additional reporting by Press Association