A car thief who caused a near-disastrous collision was jailed by a judge who told him he had the worst driving record he had ever seen.
Patrick Nicholson drove head-on into a car in which a mum and baby were travelling before colliding with three other vehicles, causing major damage.
The mother suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs and a neck injury in the incident at the junction of Station Lane and Girnhill Lane, Featherstone, on April 26 this year.
Other motorists were also injured and Nicholson had to be cut from the wreckage after suffering a broken leg.
Leeds Crown Court heard Nicholson, 27, stole a Vauxhall Vectra from the forecourt of a carwash in Pontefract shortly before the incident and drove the vehicle on pavements at 40mph to avoid traffic.
A Fiat Punto was written off in the crash. Two vans were also damaged, one cost £3,200 to repair. Nicholson was taken to Pinderfields hospital, in Wakefield, after the incident but discharged himself but he was later arrested
Nicholson, of Queens Avenue, Pontefract, has committed offences for vehicle theft and dangerous driving in almost every year dating back to 2000. He is currently serving a 26-month sentence for another driving offence committed three days before the incident. He pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and having no insurance.
The court heard Nicholson’s wife had died in a car accident. Jailing him for a further two years, judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: “I have read that you have suffered the tragedy of having your wife die in a car accident.
“It beggars belief then that you have the worst driving record I have seen in over 30 years. You obviously have no regard for the safety of people on the roads or for the driving laws in this country. This is just about as bad as it gets.”
James Lake, mitigating, said Nicholson had pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage and was sorry for what he had done to those who were injured. He said: “If he could see them he would like to say sorry.”