A BANNED driver smashed his van into the home of a 92-year-old woman after missing two cycling schoolgirls by a whisker as he zig-zagged at speed through a quiet town.

Simon Brudenell was twice the drink-drive limit when he crashed the Ford Transit after failing to negotiate a junction and “taking off” by hitting a speed bump.

The 26-year-old staggered from the wreckage and tried to flee, and when a resident told him to stay where he was, he replied: “F*** off.”

Brudenell did run off from the scene in North Road, Stokesley, North Yorkshire, but was picked up by police nearby, where he started to struggle and shout abuse.

Teesside Crown Court heard that the electrician was banned from the roads for drink-driving in 2016 and last year ¬ - just a month before the van drama on April 21.

Judge Stephen Ashurst told Brudenell that he could easily have killed one of the 13-year-old girls on their bikes and facing a double-figure sentence.

He was jailed for 15 months and banned him from driving for four years. He will have to pass an extended test before he is allowed back behind the wheel.

Judge Ashurst told the father-of-two: “You have shown a track record of selfishness and utterly irresponsible driving.

“Your driving on this occasion was really quite appalling.

“You drove at speed in a busy built-up area of residential and business properties.

“You drove down one street in a way that very nearly had fatal consequences for two 13-year-old girls who were on the bikes.

“One speaks of her shock at being 30cm from a vehicle which was zig-zagging down the road.

“A tenant of a first-floor flat looked out and was astonished to see this vehicle hurtling towards the junction.

“The road has a number of speed bumps on it, and at one stage your vehicle seemed to him to simply take off.

“There was no prospect of you rounding that corner and negotiating the junction, and your Transit van ended up being embedded in a ground-floor window and wall.”

Luckily, the elderly occupant was not in the room damaged by the van – and left with a £20,000 repair bill.

Judge Ashurst told Brudenell: “Rather than being shaken and immediately apologetic about your decision to drive while under the influence of drink, you ran off in a cowardly way.

“You deliberately chose to drive in defiance of a court order in circumstances which could have resulted in yet more potential misery and death to others.”

Aisha Wadoodi, mitigating, provided glowing references for Brudenell, including ones from a teacher, an accountant and a sergeant in the Marines.

Miss Wadoodi said he had come out of a “very volatile” relationship shortly before the offences, but was now with a new partner who is pregnant.

She added: “He is full of remorse. He is prepared to go to prison today and won’t quibble about it.”

“He has said very clearly to me ‘I would not have been able to live with myself if a death had happened’.”

Brudenell of Dunston Close, Guisborough, admitted dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, having no insurance and excess alcohol.

Miss Wadoodi said he had come out of a “very volatile” relationship shortly before the offences, but was now with a new partner who is pregnant.