Andrew Gratter, a father of three from Southend On Sea, has been sentenced to five years in jail after he was pulled over in July for ‘multiple motoring offences’ on the A127. Passing sentence earlier today, Judge Henry Crudge said it was the first case he had ever seen where a motorist had managed to smoke, text and scratch his balls while driving with three kids in a car.

Prosecuting, Reginald Leer QC said: ‘When you were pulled over by an officer during rush hour on the incredibly busy Southend Arterial Road, you were told that you had been observed smoking a cigarette, sending a text message and scratching your testicles simultaneously while driving at 59 mph in a 50 mph average speed check zone.’

‘To make matters worse, you had three children in the car with you. No child should ever have to witness his own father playing ‘pocket billiards’ in this manner.’

‘The incredibly hot weather meant that you were wearing thin cotton shorts at the time, and your kids would have pretty much seen everything. Social Services have compiled a full report.’

‘How you managed to maintain control of the vehicle will remain a mystery to this day. Any male will tell you just how difficult, attention-demanding and ultimately satisfying it is to get rid of a Level 8 crotch irritation, especially when you are seated.’

Speaking outside court, Gratter’s wife and the children’s mother Samantha said: ‘I understand why such a harsh sentence has been passed on this occasion, and I will now start to rebuild our shattered lives.’

‘My husband has put our children in serious danger, and now he is paying the ultimate price. He could have easily slipped and made an eye watering mistake that would have made  the car swerve into another vehicle.’

Speaking on behalf of Essex Police, DCI Dee Sieye of the Southend Road Patrol said: ‘This sentence sends out a clear message to any man who thinks about roughly rubbing his scrotum while he is at the wheel. If it can’t be dealt with by rocking back and forth on your own coccyx, it simply must wait until you get out of the vehicle.’