Film-watching truck driver banned

A lorry driver who veered across motorway lanes as he watched episodes of Battlestar Galactica while driving has escaped a custodial sentence.

Penrith Magistrates' Court heard that Benjamin Trotman, 37, had one eye on the road and the other on a 14-inch laptop on his dashboard while behind the wheel of his 38-tonne truck.

His erratic driving along a 25-mile stretch of the M6 in Cumbria was spotted by another truck driver, who reported him to police.

A traffic officer intercepted Mr Trotman and examined his cab, where he found the laptop running on the dashboard with Battlestar Galactica films on it.

Mr Trotman, of Bridgnorth in Shropshire, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to dangerous driving on the M6 near Kendal in December last year.

Chairman of the bench John Findlay JP said "no one could complain" if he sent Mr Trotman to prison, but instead decided on a community penalty.

"Your driving was criminally irresponsible and could have had appalling consequences," he said.

The defendant was banned from the road for 15 months, given 225 hours' community service and ordered to pay £546 costs.

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