A builder who had failed to get his van MOT’d and continued to drive the vehicle knowing it had an issue with its brakes crashed it into a house, narrowly missing a pedestrian.

Mohammad Afzal was driving his blue Mercedes-Benz Vito van along Calder Street on Tuesday, February 8, just after 6pm when his brakes failed and he went crashing through some bushes, a garden wall, and straight into the side of a house in Whalley Range, Blackburn.

Preston Crown Court heard how Hussain Patel, who had been watching the house for his parents who were on holiday, received a call from his niece to say a van had crashed into the kitchen.

Lancashire Telegraph: The van crashed into the house in Whalley RangeThe van crashed into the house in Whalley Range (Image: NQ Staff)

Hanifa Patel, prosecuting, told the court: “He made his way to the family home and saw the van embedded in the side kitchen extension.

“It came from Calder Street and crashed into the bushes at the front of the house and then into the kitchen, smashing the wall down.

“Police arrived on the scene quite quickly and the driver of the van was trapped and had to be cut out.

“There was a front seat passenger who appeared to have broken both legs, but this could not be confirmed as he failed to provide a statement or medical records to the prosecution.”

CCTV footage played to the court showed a man walking along the footpath moments before the van ploughed at speed into the house.

READ MORE: Family’s horror as van crashes into kitchen

Ms Patel went on: “The driver, Afzal, was arrested and said that his brakes had failed.

“Police carried out their own enquiries on the vehicle and concluded that it was due its MOT in December the previous year but had not had it done.

“It was obvious that the brakes failed as the reservoir was almost empty of brake fluid and a warning light had been illuminated on the dashboard, although there was rubbish obscuring it.

“The metal brake pipe was corroded which allowed the brake fluid to leak out.

“Had it gone for its MOT this would have been detected by the mechanics.

“The defendant said he had topped up the brake fluid when the light came on.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Damage done to the house by the vanDamage done to the house by the van (Image: NQ Staff)

Afzal, 54, of Romney Walk, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Mitigating, Julie Taylor said the insurance company covered the repairs to the home as it was uninhabitable for quite some time.

She said her client had six children and worked hard as a builder to provide for his family and support other family back in Pakistan.

She told the court: “He prioritised earning money to support his family rather than looking after his vehicle.”

District Judge Richard Clews, in sentencing, said: “The van was nowhere near road worthy, and you knew that as it had not had its MOT and you knew that if it had been put through a test it would have failed, meaning you knew that it wasn’t in a fit condition to be driven on the road.

“You say you were aware of a brake problem to some extent as you topped up the brake fluid, but you ought to know that brake fluid should not need topping up regularly, only changed once every few years.

“If it needs to be topped up then it’s leaking and not working properly, and you must have been aware of that, therefore there was a significant risk of a collision.

“It’s only by sheer good fortune that this crash was with an object, first a garden wall and then the side of a house, to which you caused serious damage.

“Only a few seconds before that a pedestrian walked past. If that had been earlier, you would have killed them and you would be starting a seven-year sentence.”

Afzal was handed nine months in prison suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

He was disqualified from driving for 12 months and must sit an extended retest to get his licence back.