Friday 19 January 2018

Man caught taking the fastest ever selfie in sports car at 100mph spared jail

Businessman Fred Randles filmed himself racing a sports car around country lanes at 100mph - whilst taking Britain's fastest ever selfie

Photo: (PA)
Photo: (PA)

Nicola Harley

A businessman caught taking Britain's fastest ever selfie while driving a sports car at 100mph has been spared jail.

Fred Randles, 49, set his mobile phone to take a video of himself at the wheel of a hand built Ariel Atom driving dangerously.

He uploaded the footage onto You Tube of him driving the £30,000 kit car at speeds of over 100mph in 60mph areas as he sat in the driver's seat wearing sunglasses and beaming broadly.

His friend can be seen giving him a double thumbs up sign.

The high powered 170mph vehicle which has no roof or windows, can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 2.3 seconds with former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson once claiming: "I have never, ever driven anything that accelerates so fast."

Police said Randles drove it "at breakneck speeds" on the B5130 around Chester area and also by Lake Bering and Nant Y Garth in North Wales.

The video emerged as Randles, from Great Sutton, Chester admitted dangerous driving and careless driving was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.

Chester Crown Court was told told he had built the vehicle himself after seeing it feature on the BBC motoring programme which described the vehicle as 'shockingly fast and skin-searingly exposed'.

In January 2014, a member of the public contacted North Wales Police, to alert them to the footage which showed him driving on the B4501 near Lake Brenig, on the border between Conwy and Denbighshire, between July 11 and September 22, 2013.

Randles was traced and a joint investigation was launched between North Wales Police and Cheshire Police.

He was arrested and the vehicle was seized, along with a computer, recording equipment and a helmet.

Randles was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months and has to take an extended test as well as paying 2,000 costs.

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 he is now paying the price for that."

Sgt Rachel Gallagher of Cheshire Police said: "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."

Randles denied a further three counts of dangerous driving on the B5130 and A525, which were ordered to lie on file.

Judge Nicholas Woodward told Randles: "The footage was truly frightening and upsetting because you were driving at such incredibly high speeds".

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