A BANNED driver who smashed a stolen new £16,000 car into another vehicle has walked free from court.

Shaun Hennessy, 23, was arrested at the crash scene, where he was said to have been trapped in the Citroen C4.

His eyes were glazed and his speech slurred and the ignition key was in the footwell, Burnley magistrates heard.

The hearing was told how Hennessy, who had taken drugs the night before, told the police he had bought the car from a person he refused to name for £300 and admitted he thought it was ‘a bit dodgy’.

The woman at the wheel of the Ford Focus the defendant hit had to go to hospital and suffered a sore back and grazed legs. Both cars were extensively damaged.

Hennessy, who had been ordered off the road for a year last October, is set to start a new job as window cleaner. The bench told him it was the prospect of work that had saved him from custody, as he would be able to pay compensation.

The defendant, of Griffin Close, Burnley, admitted handling stolen goods, driving while disqualified, driving without due care and attention and no insurance.

He was given 18 weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months and was banned for another 12 months. Hennessy also received a four month curfew, between 6.30pm and 6.30am, seven days a week and must pay £500 compensation and an £80 victim surcharge.

Sentencing, bench chairman Brian Pickup told Hennessy: "You shouldn't have been on the road at all. You knew you were disqualified and you knew you had no insurance. The injuries to the other driver could have been catastrophic. In the worst scenario, she could have ended up crippled or dead."

“The only reason we are suspending the sentence is by the fact you have got a job and can pay back some compensation to the people who have been injured."

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said the Citroen was taken from a Burnley home in a burglary on April 12.

On April 16, at 7.05pm, Hennessy collided with the Ford Focus on Colne Road in the town.

David Leach, defending, urged the court to pass a suspended sentence, as it would allow Hennessy to work, pay compensation and not commit crime.