Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 13:08 UK

TV-viewing lorry driver sentenced

Benjamin Trotsman arriving at court
Benjamin Trotsman had earlier pleaded guilty to dangerous driving

A lorry driver who was caught watching a cult television show at the wheel of his cab on the M6 in Cumbria has been given 225 hours community work.

Benjamin Trotsman veered across the road while watching 1970s sci-fi show Battlestar Galactica on a laptop computer, Penrith magistrates heard.

Police stopped him after he was spotted driving erratically for 25 miles.

The 37-year-old, of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

The alert was raised by another lorry driver who followed Trotsman as he travelled north through Cumbria on the night of 11 December, the court heard.

Driving ban

Trotsman's Poundstretcher lorry was speeding up, slowing down, and veering onto the hard shoulder.

The other driver pulled alongside to see Trotsman's cab lit up and figures acting on the laptop screen, which was propped on the dashboard.

He sounded his horn before calling police.

Adrienne Harris, prosecuting, told the court that traffic officer Sgt Paul Brown could see Trotman's truck veering across the road and pulled him over north of Penrith to investigate.

She said: "There was a laptop on the dashboard. A number of files under the name Battlestar Galactica were displayed and the media application was running."

Trotsman, of The Hobbins, was banned from driving for 15 months and ordered to pay 546 costs.


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