AN impatient driver who caused injuries to two people while attempting a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre, narrowly escaped an immediate prison sentence today (Wednesday January 8).

Martin Robinson was still over the drink-drive limit, almost ten hours after last drinking, when he pulled out from a line of traffic, crossing a solid white line, on the A692 Leadgate to Consett road, at 1.45pm on Sunday, February 24.

Durham Crown Court heard conditions were difficult due to overnight snowfalls and there was still a roadside covering.

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Robinson’s silver BMW overtook some vehicles, but as an oncoming car approached he tried to brake and pull back into line, before tail-spinning and colliding with the Honda Accord.

Robin Turton, prosecuting, said the Accord driver suffered a broken ankle plus other foot and wrist injuries and was in plaster cast for several weeks.

His daughter, a passenger in the car, was also injured.

Mr Turton said Robinson appeared to be hurrying home to watch a televised football match.

When interviewed, he told police: “I’m sorry. Accidents do happen.”

Robinson, 31, formerly of The Grove, near Consett, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and without insurance.

Jane Foley, mitigating, said witnesses estimated he was travelling at 60-miles per hour, the permitted limit on the road.

“His recollection was that he was able to carry out an overtaking manoeuvre at a safe point, but he accepts he misjudged what happened that day.

“He’s clearly sorry.

“His blood alcohol reading was 105, compared to the limit of 80, yet he stopped drinking at 4am that day and this accident was almost ten hours afterwards.

“It’s likely he estimated sufficient time would have passed for the alcohol to have left his system.”

Miss Foley added that Robinson would lose his house-building brick-laying contract if he was jailed, while a colleague’s position would also be put in jeopardy.

Recorder Sophie Drake told him: “You attempted an extremely dangerous overtaking manoeuvre in conditions when it was not safe to do so, with serious consequences for the other driver.”

She added, however, that she could, “just step back”, from imposing an immediate prison sentence.

Robinson received a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years, during which he must perform 200-hours’ unpaid work, comply with a four-month 8pm - 6am home curfew, in Dunelm Way, Leadgate, near Consett, and pay the other driver £1,000 compensation.

He was also banned from driving for two years.