A DRUNK driver mowed down a mother-of-one in the street after the car he was driving smashed into a wall.

Once arrested, Christopher Heskett became verbally abusive to police officers, threatening to assault members of the force while being taken to the station.

Preston Crown Court heard how the Burnley man was arrested after he fled the scene of a crash on Manchester Road, in which he knocked down 23-year-old Tamara Lane.

The incident, which took place on January 18, happened after the car Heskett was driving left the road and crashed into a wall before rebounding back into the carriageway.

Miss Lane, who had been walking along the pavement listening to music, became aware of the car veering towards her and stepped out into the road in a bid to avoid an accident – but was struck when the car ricocheted off the wall.

As the victim lay in the road having hit her head, she noticed Heskett attempting to start the engine in a bid to get away. He later abandoned the vehicle and ran off.

He was arrested a short time later after documents found in the car led officers to his address and was taken to the police station where he tested more than twice over the drink-drive limit.

While in custody Heskett became ‘extremely aggressive’ telling one officer he would ‘smash his face in’ and threatening to rape another.

Defending, Bob Elias said his client struggles with an emotional disorder which can cause him to act out of character.

He said: “He is very sorry for what has happened. He is contrite. This sort of driving is a danger to the public and rightfully should carry a sentence.”

Heskett pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of dangerous driving, one count of failing to stop, and one count of driving with excess alcohol.

Jailing him for six months, Judge Graham Knowles QC said: “You yourself said to the probation officers that you know what happens when you drink and in this case, very nearly the worst happened because you came very close to killing a young woman and devastating the lives of everyone close to her.

“It was pure fortune that you didn’t kill her and that the injuries she received are ones she has recovered from.

"It wasn’t always obvious that was going to be the case and it is very obvious reading her personal statement from close to the time that it didn’t just hurt beyond anything, it was on her mind like nothing had ever been before. She could not even pick up her own child.

“You’d had so much to drink that you couldn’t believe that your reading was just over twice over the limit when you were put on the machine a couple of hours later.

“You didn’t wait at the scene or try to help her. You fled to save your own skin.

“I’ve read the reports – your barrister is right when he says your medical condition doesn’t take any of the blame off you for this offence. It does not mean that it is irrelevant.

“I think I have got to bear in mind that prison at the best of times would be difficult for you, more difficult than for most – though there are many prisoners with disorders.

“I consider the guideline and it urges me to balance things up. I must weigh up your mitigation and what risk you pose to the public and whether the case is so serious that it just would not be right for someone not to go to prison to serve it.

“I am afraid in my judgement in this case it is just too bad – the driving too bad, the drink was too much, the failing to stop – even given that you are not a man who is regularly before the courts – far from it.

"All of that means there has to be an immediate prison sentence.”

Heskett was also disqualified from driving for three years and must take a retest before he is allowed back behind the wheel.