A motorist’s dangerous actions to evade police led to a horror crash in which his girlfriend suffered a fractured skull and bleed on the brain.
Daniel Aaron, 24, cried in the dock at Preston Crown Court as his tearful family watched the proceedings, including a CCTV clip of the high speed collision with a concrete pillar.
The accident happened moments after police took a decision to abandon their pursuit of him, fearing the safety of other road users, after he switched off his lights and drove in darkness at 60mph on country lanes near Slyne and Halton.
The couple, who had been travelling in a Fiat Punto at 2.45am on February 7, crashed just two minutes later in a 20mph section of Halton Road, near Lancaster.
Aaron, of Greenfields Crescent, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, admits careless driving, and possessing cocaine and cannabis.
Prosecuting, David Clarke, said officers had initially pulled up beside him on a two-lane stretch of Owen Road believing him lost, due to his apparent last minute decisions to make turns.
But when asked to lower his window he became agitated and refused to pull over, making an illegal manoeuvre around a bollard.
A pursuit began towards the village of Slyne, and he ran a red temporary traffic light where the road went into a single lane.
His speed was so high that the car took off as it passed over a canal bridge, and he then turned off his lights.
Mr Clarke added: “The officers were concerned about the very, very real danger to other road users and decided the most prudent course was for them not to continue, however within two minutes they received a report of a car having crashed on Halton Road and they made their way there.”
Officers found drugs on the motorist, who scuffled and struggled with officers.
His now ex girlfriend was whisked away in an ambulance having suffered a bleed on the brain, and had to have a plate inserted into her fractured skull.
In an interview, he said they had been for a drive to get food in Lancaster and he had felt the officers had no right to pull up beside him and ask him questions as he had done nothing wrong, and that his anxiety had caused him to drive away.
His defence lawyer urged the judge to suspend his sentence and said he had a loving supportive family, and lived with his grandma who he assisted with daily tasks.
He sobbed as her letter to the court was referred to, in which she said he was a very caring person with a “heartfelt nature”.
She added: “No explanation can be provided. He knows of the seriousness of the incident, the seriousness of the potential consequences and also his culpability.
“He is under no illusion, he offers no excuse.
“He made a critically fundamental error of judgement.”
Judge Andrew Woolman said his driving was “truly awful with terrible consequences but acknowledged he was a decent young man who worked as a joiner and was caring.
But jailing him for nine months, he said only an immediate prison term could be justified.
He said: “Your driving was so bad the police abandoned their pursuit because they thought it was too dangerous.
“Your girlfriend was seriously injured. When police searched you, you were in possession of cannabis, cocaine and a grinder.”
He was banned for 15 months and must take an extended retest.