A DUNBAR farm worker who was serving a road ban when he crashed a tractor and spilled a trailer full of potatoes over one of Scotland’s busiest roads has escaped a jail sentence.

Steven Cull lost control of the huge load of potatoes when his tractor and trailer keeled over on the A1 near Dunbar last month.

Hundreds of potatoes scattered over the dual carriageway, causing rush-hour chaos, and police were forced to close the road for three hours for a clean-up to take place.

Last month, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that Cull, 22, was already banned from driving when he crashed the tractor while working at a nearby farm.

The labourer, who has since been sacked, was jailed last year for driving a car while disqualified but escaped a further prison sentence when he appeared back at the Capital court last Friday.

Sheriff Adrian Cottam told Cull he had committed “a silly mistake” by agreeing to move the potato load from one field to another and imposed a community payback order instead.

Cull, of Lammermuir Crescent, was placed on 12 months of supervision and ordered to carry out 70 hours of unpaid work in the community.

He was also handed an 18-month driving ban.

Sheriff Cottam added: “Whilst you cannot drive while disqualified, this is slightly different than you willingly ignoring everything and driving through the town or whatever.

“So I am just persuaded because of that to give you a chance to show that was a silly mistake as opposed to wanton behaviour.”

Previously, the court heard that several members of the public phoned the police to inform them of the potato spillage on the A1 at about 7.40am on September 16.

Fiscal Clare Kennedy said: “Officers attended and by that time the carriageway had been partially cleared and the tractor trailer Mr Cull was driving was overturned.

“It was confirmed that Mr Cull had been driving the tractor at the time and that he was disqualified.”

Solicitor Mark Hutchison said that Cull agreed to drive the tractor as he “didn’t want to tell his employers that he was banned as he didn’t want to lose the job”.

Cull pleaded guilty to driving a tractor while disqualified from driving on the A1 near Dunbar on September 16.