A lorry driver has got a suspended jail sentence and 30 month driving ban after a video of him going the wrong way on a roundabout was posted on YouTube.
Stephen Glyn Weller, 52, of Crawley Down Road, Felbridge, was sentenced to eight months in jail, suspended for two years, 300 hours of unpaid work and a 30 month driving ban at Lewes Crown Court on August 14.
He was ordered to pay £420 prosecution costs and £180 criminal courts charge. He will have to take an extended driving test retake should he want to reapply for his licence.
Weller pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on July 15.
JPs watched the YouTube clip of him overtaking a taxi he was tailgating by driving on the wrong side of a mini-roundabout and into the path of oncoming traffic in Selsfield Road, Turners Hill.
Peter McKenzie, chairman of the bench, said the footage which was taken by a dashboard camera on a vehicle driving behind him was ‘absolutely horrendous’.
He said the case would be sent to a crown court for sentencing and added: “You were seconds away from a major accident situation involving at least five cars and goodness knows however many people.”
Melanie Wotton, prosecuting, read out a statement from the taxi driver who Weller tailgated in a large green Scania lorry at around 2.40pm on April 29.
It stated: “I felt uncomfortable with the lorry behind me and I was worried that if I braked or stopped he would run up the back of me.
“Every time I looked in my mirror he was right into it with his headlights on.
“I blasted my horn to warn him of the roundabout but he kept going, he continued on the wrong side of the road and went on the wrong side for the roundabout.”
The driver noted the lorry’s registration number and Weller was sacked by Three Bridges-based demolition contractor Matthews Group the morning after the video was posted.
Mr Petersen, defending, said Weller had been subjected to a ‘campaign of hate’ on social media after the clip was posted.
The court heard his family life had been destroyed and his house was at risk because of the ‘stupid stupid stupid’ error of judgement.
Weller was released on unconditional bail to be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on August 14.
The court imposed a six month interim driving ban to be in effect until the sentencing.
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