An engineer who left a father-to-be for dead in a hit-and-run crash after drinking lager and whisky with friends has been spared jail after he offered to pay the victim £10,000 damages.
Stephen Andrews, 41, caused taxi driver Inam Ulhaq such severe injuries in the horrific head-on impact that he was unable to cradle his newborn child, a court heard.
Andrews – who mentors British Aerospace recruits – had drunk three pints of lager and lemonade plus whisky before ploughing into Mr Ulhaq’s VW Passat while overtaking at up to 50mph.
He then hid at a friend’s house before contacting police 12 hours later. He handed himself in four days after the smash – thereby avoiding a breath test. The father-of-two – who had a previous conviction for drink-driving – admitted drinking in the run-up to the crash.
Engineer Stephen Andrews crashed into taxi driver Inam Ulhaq at 50mph whil drink driving, causing him severe injuries. Pictured: Andrews outside Bolton Crown court where he appeared for causing serious injury by dangerous driving
Andrews, who admitted to being a coward for fleeing the scene ‘in a state of complete panic’, faced up to five years in jail after he admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and failing to stop at Bolton Crown Court.
But he was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, after Judge Graeme Smith said he posed ‘no risk’ to the public. Mr Ulhaq, who is in his 40s, had to be cut free from the wreckage in Standish, near Wigan, at 12.20am on December 15 last year.
He suffered a broken back, fractured pelvis, dislocated right hip and a broken right knee and had to undergo several operations.
He told police: ‘I can only walk around ten to 15 steps before the pain is too much for me. Due to this man’s reckless and dangerous driving I truly feel my life has been ruined.
Pictured: the wreckage of Inman Ulhaq’s taxi after Andrews crashed into it last year. Mr Ulhaq had to be cut from the wreckage, and suffered such severe injuries he was unable to cradle his newborn child
‘On June 4, my wife gave birth and it should have been a happy time but it upsets me that I couldn’t hold the baby properly and carry him and cuddle him and do general playful things with him as any father could do. My injuries prevent me from my normal daily life.’
Andrews suffered minor injuries in the crash.
Defence counsel Saul Brody said his client had a written a letter of apology to the victim, blaming ‘a catastrophic error of judgment’ in deciding to attempt to overtake two vehicles in one manoeuvre.
Mr Brody said: ‘His conduct is entirely out of character and it has left him a broken man. He will never behave in this way again.’
Andrews, of Standish, was also banned from driving for two years, ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work and told to pay the £10,000 compensation within six months.
Stephen Andrews, pictured, was given a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years, after Judge Graeme Smith said he posed ‘no risk’ to the public, and was spared jail time after he offered to pay the victim £10,000 damages