A man from Lancashire has been convicted of illegally driving his piano down a dual carriageway.

James Tofalli, from Morecambe, lives with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other mental health issues, and in 2021 decided to embark on a John O’Groats to Lands' End trek with a piano, playing music along the way and raising funds which would hopefully see him set up his own charitable foundation.

It was during a leg of the challenge that he was stopped by police for ‘illegally driving a piano’ down the A92 in Arbroath.

James, 30, who had set up a Go Fund Me page which has garnered more than £6,000 in donations, was stopped on September 15 and after being questioned and arrested, was charged with driving a piano without insurance, without L-plates and while under the influence of cannabis.

Lancashire Telegraph: James aka Piano Man, and his piano 'vehicle'James aka Piano Man, and his piano 'vehicle' (Image: James Tofalli)

Following several adjournments, he finally appeared at Forfar Sheriff’s court earlier this week.

Giving evidence he told the court that on that day he was travelling from Arbroath to Dundee, a distance of around 20 miles, playing to thousands along the way as he aimed to raise money for autism and mental health through music.

Initially, his piano was bolted and fixed onto a seven-and-a-half-foot high contraption, made from a trolley, which he pulled along the roads to avoid hitting signs on the pavement.

It was while meeting people on his journey, who were concerned for his safety, that a team of mechanics gave his piano a motorised upgrade by using a quad bike so he could walk alongside it without having to pull it – he was never once sat on the vehicle riding it while it was on the road.

Police caught up with James, also known as Piano Man, on a dual carriage way with a speed limit of 70mph and told him he should have been displaying L-plates as he only had a provisional licence and asked him if it was insured.

He was also tested for cannabis which came back positive.

The police seized the vehicle, along with the piano which they couldn’t remove as it was bolted down too tightly, and he was charged.

He said to police: “How is this a vehicle when I’m using my legs?”

In court, his solicitor argued that the piano was not a vehicle and told the court he was pulling it, not driving it.

However, prosecutors disagreed, and he was convicted and given six penalty points and a £65 fine and ordered to pay £75 for possession of the cannabis.

Posting on Facebook following his conviction, James said he had ‘failed’ in his charity venture and the project was over.

He claimed he’d spent £9,000 of his own money on the project and had received more than £6,000 in donations, which some people had now demanded back.

Lancashire Telegraph: James aka Piano Man, and his piano 'vehicle'James aka Piano Man, and his piano 'vehicle' (Image: James Tofalli)

He said: “September 2021 I was arrested for driving a mechanically propelled vehicle.

"After being adjourned twice due to officer absence, yesterday a verdict was come to and I received six penalty point and a £65 fine.

“Safe to say, this project is now over.

“I will post a comprehensive list of expenses to my Facebook page. Totalling upwards of £9,000.

“If you feel that a refund of your donation is required, please contact me directly and I will action it.

“I feel I have achieved half of what I set out to do, and that was to bring attention to mental health and autism through music. The second part of providing workshops, instruments, tuition and therapy clearly cannot happen.”

Since 2021, James has been busking with his piano, using music as a means to combat mental health issues.