A BUSINESSMAN’S ‘ridiculous’ driving left a motorist with a serious hand injury after he lost control of his BMW when speeding the wrong way around a roundabout.

Karl Slasor smashed into the woman’s Audi A4 estate on the roundabout near Morrison’s petrol station at Morton Park in Darlington after he received a message from his partner that there was a fire at home.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 30-year-old left a business meeting, jumped in his car and sped off towards his home in Darlington on June 5 last year.

Emma Atkinson, prosecuting said the Audi driver needed hospital treatment to her damaged hand while £18,000 car was written off following the crash.

She said: “She saw the back end of the vehicle sliding about and she knew it was out of control, she knew she was going to have an impact on her vehicle and there was nothing that she could do to stop it.

“She started to have a panic attack and when she couldn’t open the door that got worse.”

The court heard how the rear tyres of Slasor’s BMW were smoking as he spun out of control on the roundabout then appearing to regain control of the car before ultimately losing control again and smashing into the Audi.

The woman was taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital for treatment to her injured hand and now suffers from anxiety whenever she drives, Miss Atkinson said: “It had quite an impact on the driver, she still suffers physically and emotionally.”

The father-of-two, of Appleby Close, Darlington, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

Kelleigh Lodge, in mitigation, said her client’s business, which employees four people, would fold if he was sent to immediate custody and urged the judge to suspend his sentence.

Miss Lodge added: “He was at a meeting when he received a message that there was a fire at his home, he left the meeting and accepts he drove in the manner that was described.

“He is genuinely sorry for the impact and injuries that the woman suffered.”

Judge Paul Watson QC sentenced Slasor to eight months in custody, suspended for 12 months, and put him on a tagged curfew for four months between 8pm and 6am.

He told the defendant that the emergency was no excuse for his excessive speed and told him he had been driving like a 'maniac' when the collision happened.

"The woman now suffers from anxiety when she drives after what happened to her, it's not surprising when she saw your car coming straight at her at great speed and out of control."

Slasor was also ordered to pay the woman £2,500 in compensation and was banned from the roads 18 months.

The judge added: "It will compensate her somewhat for the fractured hand she suffered due to youy ridiculous driving."