A LYING driver who had two crashes in as many minutes and then ran off was yesterday jailed for nine months after telling police his car had been stolen by a house burglar.

Bricklayer John Clasper, 25, left two people injured in the second smash, York Crown Court heard, but tried to lie his way out of the situation before "coming clean" a week later.

Clasper, of Jennyfields Drive, Harrogate, admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice, two cases of careless driving, failing to stop after an accident, twice failing to report an accident and driving without insurance, in September.

Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, said both accidents happened in the Queen Ethelburgas area of Harrogate at about 10.25pm when Clasper was driving a four-wheel drive Lada.

As he approached Oak Beck Bridge he caused a glancing blow to William Houseman's Mercedes car, but drove on.

Mr Houseman set off in pursuit and after a quarter of a mile came across a second accident involving Clasper, who failed to negotiate a left hand bend and collided heavily with a Ford Escort.

Both the driver and the girl passenger in the Escort were injured.

The following morning the accused rang police and told them a burglar had entered his home, taken his car keys and had driven off.

Felicity Davies, for Clasper, said there was no evidence of alcohol being involved, other than by inference when he was said to have been swerving. She added he did not know people had been hurt and it was not a case of making off leaving someone hurt and that he had the courage to own up