A Hughenden Valley man who drove dangerously on the M6 near Carlisle was caught after the police invited the public to send in dashcam footage of potential crimes.

At the city’s Rickergate court, a prosecutor described Wayne Ayres’ driving as an example of “essentially showing off on a busy road.”

The 54-year-old, of Warrendene Road, Hughenden Valley, admitted driving dangerously on May 25 last year near to Junction 41.

Prosecutor George Shelley showed the court dashcam footage of two incidents, including one provided by a motorist who responded to a national police operation which invited members of the public to submit video footage.

The footage video was taken as the driver travelled north along the M6 in his Tesla car in the motorway's second lane. It showed the defendant's Mini as it first caught up with the Tesla at around 12.30pm between junctions 40 and 41.

Ayres then overtook the car before swerving sharply back into lane two and braking, prompting the second driver to take "avoiding action", said Mr Shelley. The Mini then pulled into the inside lane.

After the Tesla had safely overtaken the defendant’s car for a second time, Ayres performed a similar overtaking manoeuvre again.

“In his interview, he denied there was a dangerous element to his driving,” said Mr Shelley. “But that has been followed up by a [guilty] plea at the first opportunity.”

Megan Tollitt, defending, said the defendant had mental health problems, and this included PTSD. Currently living in a static caravan, he was trying to establish a perfume business and planned to move to Scotland.

“His long-term partner has health needs, and they are currently based in High Wycombe,” said the barrister. That move north would now have to be put on hold as a result of the prosecution.

Referring to the offence, Miss Tollitt said the defendant’s version of events included a claim that the Tesla driver had been gesticulating. “These things happen on motorways, unfortunately,” she said.

“But in no way is that an excuse and it doesn’t make his driving less dangerous. But it does provide a context.”

Magistrates imposed a one-year ban, pointing out that Ayres must pass an extended retest before he can drive independently again. They also imposed a four-week 7pm to 6am curfew, with £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.