Frederick Randles, 49, from Heath Bank in Chester was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years at Chester Crown Court on 16 July 2015. He was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work, was disqualified from driving for 18 months and has to take an extended test. He was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving and one count of careless driving, but pleaded not guilty to three further counts of dangerous driving which the prosecution have agreed to lie on file.
In January 2014 North Wales Police, were alerted to numerous items of footage with different passengers which had been uploaded onto Youtube.
The footage showed an Ariel Atom car being driven dangerously along B5130 between Saighton, Holt and Farndon areas of Chester and Lake Brenig and Nant Y Garth in North Wales.
Their enquiries led to tracing the offender to the Chester area and a joint investigation commenced between North Wales Police and Cheshire Police and an independent report for police by Road Safety Support illustrated the speed of the vehicle and the actions of its driver and passengers in the video records. Subsequently Randles was summonsed for six counts of driving a motor vehicle dangerously.
Sergeant Rachel Gallagher said: “In the footage, the vehicle was being driven in excess of the speed limits in force. The vehicle was driven with accompanying passengers on three occasions in excess of 100mph in a 60mph speed limit while passing junctions and entrances to farms, businesses and to minor roads. In one piece of footage the passenger is showing signs and speaking of feeling that he is in danger from the manner of driving. This was interpreted by a lip reader for the court.
“Randles was not only putting himself and his terrified passenger at risk but other road users. He is seen overtaking taking cars with no regard his or others’ safety and could have resulted in a serious or fatal collision. This conviction shows that we will work together with other forces to tackle dangerous and stupid behaviour to keep our roads safer and bring to justice those who willfully put themselves and others’ at risk.”
Sergeant John Roberts, GoSafe Manager for North Wales Police said: “Driving dangerously on the roads can lead to devastating consequences; it’s remarkable that Mr Randles didn’t cause a road traffic collision.
“I hope the sentence given is a warning to anybody else considering driving in this manner, especially to those who believe they can drive dangerously, post the footage online and think they can get away with it.”
“We will take action against all manner of offences to ensure we keep our roads as safe as possible for everyone.”
Gary Simpson, Senior Crown Prosecutor with Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Mr Randles seems to have seen himself as some sort of Jeremy Clarkson figure, filming himself driving a high powered car at crazy speeds.
“He did this on public roads in a way that put members of the public in very real danger. It was clear that his passenger was terrified and was telling Randles to slow down but he took no notice.
“He was filming himself throughout, obviously so that he could upload the footage onto social media to show off.
“It was this vanity that led to his downfall. A member of the public saw the footage on You Tube and told the police.
“Anyone who sits behind the wheel of a car is in charge of a powerful weapon that can easily cause serious injury, even death. Randles’ behaviour was dangerous and is now paying the price for that.”