Tyne & Wear

Man who drove car while standing told to 'grow up'

Adam Elliott Image copyright Northumbria Police
Image caption Adam Elliot was spotted by traffic cameras in Gateshead and on the Tyne Bridge

A man who drove a car standing up has been given a suspended jail sentence by a judge who told him to "grow up".

Adam Elliott was spotted with his head poking out of the roof of a convertible Ford Ka, in Gateshead in January 2016.

The 26-year-old, from Newcastle, had admitted dangerous driving, but later denied he was standing, saying his 6ft 7in (2m) height made it look that way.

The judge at Newcastle Crown Court handed the car dealer a nine-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.

'Complete buffoonery'

Judge Robert Adams told the defendant: "You are 26, you have a long history of offending.

"It's about time you grew up, took responsibility for your actions and recognise the danger you could cause to other road users by your stupidity."

Image copyright Adam Elliott/PA
Image caption Adam Elliott pleaded guilty to dangerous driving but later insisted he was just tall and not standing up in the car

Elliot, who had been delivering the vehicle, was picked up on traffic cameras on 26 January 2016 - another driver was so concerned about his behaviour he rang the police.

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said: "At various times the defendant was either standing up or in the vehicle with his feet on the driver's seat, his knees either side of the steering wheel, steering with his knees.

"At various times he waved to passing motorists as their attention was drawn by virtue of his seating position."

Elliott - who has since lost his car sales business - has 69 previous convictions, including 13 offences of driving while disqualified, 18 of driving without insurance, thefts, dangerous driving and fraud.

His barrister Nick Cartmell said: "It was an act of complete buffoonery. He is a big man sitting in a car and he played up to it."

Elliot was also banned from driving for two years, fined £100 and ordered to pay £1,500 prosecution costs.

Following the sentencing, Northumbria Police said: "Some people may find this type of behaviour amusing but if an individual continues to drive in that type of manner it is only a matter of time before they are involved in a serious collision.

"Motor vehicles are not toys and one slight mistake when you are driving can lead to a fatal collision that will destroy lives forever."

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