A van driver in England has been ordered to pay £600 after being spotted on a police camera swerving between lanes on a Yorkshire motorway, as he ate a cheesecake behind the wheel.

Police claimed John Barton, 54, had both hands off the wheel and was steering with his elbows as he munched on the cheesecake but he says he was in full control and was only eating a bite-size marshmallow.

Barton, from Todwick, near Rotherham, pleaded not guilty at Rotherham Magistrates Court, but was found guilty of failing to have proper control of his vehicle and fined £200, plus £400 in costs.

After the case Mr Barton still denied eating the cheesecake.

He claimed the reason the van was swerving was due to galeforce winds that day, which had closed the Tinsley viaduct near Sheffield.

“I was weaving but not because of me having my hands off the steering wheel, I just wouldn’t do that,” he said.

“The police officer who stopped me said he actually saw me eating, but he didn’t. He also said I sniggered. I didn’t, it was the guy sat next to me. I feel it was all an injustice. I was eating but not a cheesecake, it was a little marshmallow which I took from the dashboard in just a few seconds. My argument is that people with cigarettes hold them with one hand on the steering wheel and all I did was take a chocolate teacake or whatever off the dashboard.”

Chief Insp Stuart Walne of South Yorkshire Police said : “This is the same sort of case as a mobile phone. When you’re behind the wheel it’s potentially a lethal weapon. You have to be in proper control or you risk injuries to others and yourself. It’s one thing eating a biscuit or sandwich which I’m not saying is right, but you can still change gear and hold the wheel. To eat a cheesecake is just ludicrous.”

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