Man who is 6'6" tall spared jail after being caught driving while sitting on head rest

Sean Morrison
Adam Elliot narrowly avoided jailed after being caught driving standing up: PA

A 6ft 6in car dealer who drove a small convertible while sitting on the headrest and steering with his knees has narrowly avoided jail.

Adam Elliott, 26, waved to other drivers as they tooted their horns, and stood up with his head above the windscreen as he drove the Ford Ka through Newcastle city centre.

His barrister Nick Cartmell described his actions as an act of “complete buffoonery” and “extreme foolishness”.

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said another driver spotted Elliott on the A184 Felling bypass heading towards the Tyne Bridge on January 26 last year.

Adam Elliot narrowly avoided jailed after being caught driving standing up (PA)

The driver was so concerned by his driving that he gave police a running commentary over the phone as he followed him, the court heard.

Traffic cameras picked Elliott up driving the Ka.

Mr Wardlaw 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."

The court heard how Elliott was stopped by a traffic officer in the city's West End and after initially being jovial, he became "aggressive and petulant”.

Elliott has 69 previous convictions, including 13 offences of driving while disqualified, 18 of driving without insurance, thefts, dangerous driving and fraud.

Adam Elliott: The Ka driver was sentenced on Friday after driving with his knees (PA)

Mr Cartmell said Elliott has lost his car sales business and is now a tyre dealer, describing him as "entrepreneurial".

But he also was desperate to show off foolishly, the barrister said.

Referring back to his client's behaviour that day, Mr Cartmell said: "He is a big man sitting in a car and he played up to it."

Judge Adams said Elliott's previous denials that he was stood up, claiming the charge was merely a result of being tall, were "total nonsense" and a lie.

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

Spared jail: Adam Elliott (PA)

"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."

The Ford Ka's new owner is 6ft 3in, stocky and has no trouble fitting in the vehicle, the court heard.

Elliot admitted dangerous driving at a previous hearing and Judge Robert Adams, sitting at Newcastle Crown Court, handed him a nine-month jail term, suspended for 18 months.

He was fined £100 and ordered him to pay £1,500 prosecution costs.

He will be disqualified from driving for two years and will carry out 150 hours of rehabilitation activity.

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