Atom Ariel-style car driver sentenced for dangerous driving


A 49-year-old man has been sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, after admitting to driving a hand built, high powered sports car at breakneck speeds around Cheshire and North Wales.

Frederick Randles, from Heath Bank in Chester was sentenced at Chester Crown Court today (16 July 2015) after pleading guilty to two counts of dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

Randles hand built a version of the Ariel Atom sports car that is known to be able to achieve very high speeds. The car has featured on the BBCs Top Gear programme.

He uploaded footage onto You Tube of him driving the car at speeds of over 100 mph in 60 mph areas on the B5130 around Chester area and on Lake Bering and Nant Y Garth in North Wales.

In January 2014, a member of the public contacted North Wales Police, to alert them to the footage which showed driving that was clearly dangerous.

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.

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."