A MAN suffered horrific injuries after walking into the path of a car in rush-hour traffic, a court heard yesterday.

Paul Alan Kefford is still recovering in hospital after he was hit by the Ford Focus, driven by unsupervised learner driver Philip Kelly in Darlington two months ago.

Kelly, 18, of Hundens Lane, Darlington, pleaded guilty at South Durham Magistrates' Court to taking his grandparents' car without permission and driving it without insurance or a full licence.

Derek Walton, prosecuting, said Kelly's driving was not a contributory factor to the early morning accident, which happened at the junction of Haughton Road and McMullen Road.

Mr Kefford, he said, had walked between stationary cars into the path of the vehicle.

The 37-year-old was taken to hospital with head and leg injuries.

David Cornberg, in mitigation, said Kelly had been deeply affected by the accident.

Kelly was given a 12-month conditional discharge by magistrates and ordered to pay £60 prosecution costs.

His provisional licence was endorsed with six points.