Giant driver who steered Ford Ka with his knees is spared jail
A 6ft 6in driver who steered a small car with his knees while "showing off" on a busy dual carriageway has walked free from court.
Adam Elliott sat on the driver's headrest of the Ford Ka, with his head and shoulders protruding above the convertable's windscreen, his feet on the seat and his knees around the steering wheel, while waiving and gesturing at other motorists.The 26-year-old would sit properly, with his feet on the pedals, when he approached traffic lights or roundabouts during his journey along the Felling bypass in Gateshead and across the Tyne Bridge to Newcastle on January 26 last year.Salesman Elliott initially insisted he could not sit properly in the motor simply because he was too tall and had done nothing wrong.But he later pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and a judge at Newcastle Crown Court said the excuse about his extreme height was "absolutely untrue" andtold him to "grow up".Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court a shocked witness who saw Elliott's outrageous driving alerted the police and cctv footage of his route was seized.Mr Wardlaw said: "He had his feet on the driver's seat, his knees either side of the steering wheel, appearing to steer the motor vehicle with his knees."At various times he would waive at passing motorists whose attention was drawn to him by virtue of the sitting position."This was a foolhardy and foolish act. The Crown does not need to point out the potential consequence of driving in this manner."Nick Cartmell, defending, said Elliott is an "attention seeker" with "big brotheritis" who craves the limelight no matter what the cost.Mr Cartmell said the driving was a brief act of "buffoonery" and that Elliott is an otherwise hard worker who is capable of being sensible.The court heard Elliott had to quit his car selling business as a result of the conviction and new runs a tyre company.Mr Cartmell added: "He wasn't constantly in that position , he had to put his feet on the pedals to get some power in the car."Potentially, the consequences could have been fatal, potentially they could have been very serious but they weren't on this occasion. "Mr Cartmell said it may have been "luck" that nobody was hurt.Judge Robert Adams sentenced Elliott to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with rehabilitation requirements, Â£1,500 costs, a Â£100 finefor breach of a previous suspended sentence and a two year road ban.The judge told him: "It's about time you grew up and took responsibility for your actions."You were sitting on the back of the seat with your knees either side of the steering wheel on the A184, you can be seen not even holding the steeringwheel with your hands."Your driving was described as the sort of thing you might do in the middle of a farmer's field, for a bit of fun, certainly not on a busy road."You had your knees on either side of the steering wheel, arms on your thighs."You were fooling around, showing off, on a public road in the centre of the city."It was clearly dangerous to all other road users around you. You were not in full control of the car."The court heard Elliott had initially been accused of standing up while driving but the judge said the truth was "much more dangerous".He added: "You were sitting on the back of the seat with your feet off the pedals, not even holding the steering wheel on some occasions."The court heard the new owner of the motor is 6ft 3 and has no problems driving the car in a normal manner.Elliott, of Aldwick Road, Newcastle, has 13 previous convictions for driving while disqualified, 11 for having no insurance, and must pass an extendeddriving test, for what will be his third time, before he can get back on the roads.