AN engineer described as a “nutter” has been handed a suspended jail sentence for a dangerous undertaking manoeuvre on the M56 near Chester.

Harvey Michael Schofield, 52, was caught on an HGV driver’s dash-cam swooping into lane one to get past a tipper lorry on March 30 last year.

Chester Magistrates Court heard today (February 22) that he then pulled back in front of the tipper truck in the outside lane before shaking his fist at the driver and slamming on his brakes.

The HGV driver said in a statement that he had been flashing his lights at the tipper to indicate it was all clear to pull back into lane one before Schofield’s Audi A7 hurtled into view.

The tipper driver, who has been driving lorries for 45 years, said in his own statement: “It could have been a completely different story if I hadn’t braked so quickly.

“I did think to myself ‘you nutter!’”

In his defence, the court heard that Schofield was a field engineer with an unblemished record until now and the under-taking manoeuvre had been “23 seconds of stupidity”.

He was given a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Schofield, of Turnstone Road, Offerton, Stockport, was also ordered to pay £620 court costs, as he had been convicted of dangerous driving after trial, as well as a £115 victim surcharge.

He was also banned from driving for 12 months and will have to take an extended re-test before being given back his license.