THIS is the dramatic moment X Factor star Matt Linnen crashes his car after throwing a coffee cup and peanuts at a fellow driver during a heated road rage row.
The 2017 semi-finalist was given a suspended jail sentence after he admitted throwing the items on his way home from a charity gig in Durham.
Dashcam footage shows the moment before the collision on the A1Credit: Media Lincs
Both motorists then ended up in the hedge on the side of the busy dual carriagewayCredit: Media Lincs
X Factor star Matt Linnen outside Lincoln Crown Court where he was convicted of dangerous drivingCredit: John Aron
Linen had denied dangerous driving but was convicted by a jury who were shown dashcam footage of the collision.
The clip shows the moment Linnen – who was driving the Citroen Picasso – almost leaves the road while overtaking a silver Ford being driven by Dominic Eaton.
Seconds later the driver of the Ford loses control and crashes into the side of Linnen’s vehicle and the pair end up in the hedge together.
Lincoln Crown Court heard the 30-year-old lost his cool after he was cut up by Eaton while driving home along the A1.
The two were then involved in aggressive driving towards each other during which Linnen threw a coffee cup at Eaton’s car and then hurled a packet of peanuts out of his sun roof.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said the incident started when Linnen was forced to brake sharply after being cut up and he responded by gesticulating and shouting at Eaton.
Their vehicles almost collided and in the moments afterwards Linnen threw the items at Eaton’s vehicle.
Then the two cars collided and left the road with Eaton’s vehicle rolling over. Eaton and a young child in his car escaped injury as did Linnen.
Linnen, of Westcliff on Sea, Essex, denied dangerous driving as a result of the incident on the A1 at Great Ponton, Lincs, on April 30 last year but was convicted following a trial.
He was given a six month jail sentence suspended for 12 months with 50 hours of unpaid work. He was banned from driving for a year and ordered to pay £1,400 prosecution costs.
You lost the plot as much as he did. You were throwing things from your car at his car
Recorder William Harbage QC
Eaton, 38, of Grantham, Lincs, admitted dangerous driving. He was given an eight month jail suspended for two years with 100 hours of unpaid work.
He was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to pay £170 costs.
Recorder William Harbage QC said: “It is only by the grace of God that nobody was hurt. The driving of both of you was appalling.”
He told Linnen: “You lost the plot as much as he did. You were throwing things from your car at his car.
“You didn’t start this but whatever provocation there may be I regard as slight. You reacted to Eaton’s driving and thereafter you fully participated in a road rage incident.”
Linnen, who described himself as a builder and musician, said he had to slam his brakes on to avoid a collision and added: “I put a thumbs up sarcastically in his direction.
“The other driver seemed to lose the plot. He was driving erratically. He must have had a bad day.
“I felt he was trying to scare me. He had already veered close to me.”
Linnen admitted throwing the coffee cup and said: “I wanted to get out of the situation but being provoked I wasn’t thinking straight.
“I was worried what he was doing and just wanted to get away.”
Linnen said he overtook the Ford but it then began tailgating him and so he threw the peanuts out of the sun roof.
“I was trying to get rid of him. I wasn’t trying to antagonise.
“He has come up shouting at me through his passenger window then he has lost control. He caused the collision when he lost control of his car.”
SAVED FROM HELL
Taxi driver rescues pregnant sex trafficking victim held hostage in brothel
FLASH FLOOD HELL
Britain hit by huge floods with Hurricane Lorenzo set to bring more misery
SPOT THE SPOTS
Can YOU spot the leopard hiding in a ditch in this amazing viral pic?
KILLED IN SLEEP
Girl, 14, killed by exploding phone after going to bed listening to music
Man, 38, killed in head-on crash that left woman critical and 2 kids injured
Linnen admitted it was “stupid” to throw the items out of his car but argued that his driving was careless rather than dangerous.
The jury was told he had never been in trouble before and had a clean driving licence after passing his test eight years earlier.
Natalie Bird, for Linnen, said: “He accepts it was a moment of madness. He does accept he lost his temper.”
Linnen, 30, performing on The X Factor in 2017. He got into a road rage row in April 2018Credit: Getty – Contributor
Matt Linnen reached the semi finals of The X Factor in 2017Credit: Splash News
Linnen had been on his way home from a charity gig when he got into a road rage row with another motoristCredit: Syco / Thames
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at [email protected] or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.