A dad got behind the wheel of a car while more than twice over the alcohol limit and caused serious injuries to a taxi passenger.

Christopher Henry, 36, had drunk some alcohol at his brother’s birthday party and was driving home in Rawtenstall with his three children when he crashed into another car.

The passenger in the other car, an Uber taxi being driven by Arslan Mahmood, suffered serious injuries after the car was spun around twice and ended up sliding down an embankment.

He was treated for spinal injuries as well as fractures to his ribs and pelvis at Royal Preston Hospital and spent just under two weeks in their care.

Prosecuting, Sarah Gruffydd said the incident happened on the evening of November 26, 2022 when Mr Mahmood was driving his taxi down New Hall Hey Road in Rawtenstall.

Mr Mahmood began to slow down on approach to a roundabout and he saw the defendant’s vehicle coming the other way at high speed.

He attempted to accelerate to get out of the way, but Henry’s car came straight over the roundabout and crashed into the side of Mr Mahmood’s car.

After spinning, the car slid down an embankment and Mr Mahmood and his passenger had to be freed.

Police officers arrived on the scene and noted Henry appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. He blew 93 on a roadside breath test with the legal limit being 35.

Henry and the taxi passenger were taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital, while the passenger was transferred to Preston the next morning due to the severity of his injuries.

The passenger remained in hospital until December 9 and did not require surgery, though he did need to wear a neck brace and user a Zimmer frame and crutches.

A victim personal statement summarised by Ms Gruffydd in court said the victim suffered from sleeplessness and flashbacks and had ongoing pain and lack of mobility in their right shoulder.

David Morton, defending, said: “Mr Henry has taken full responsibility. He has explained and expressed the regret and poor decision making he made.

“He drank the alcohol at his brother’s birthday. He said he should not have done and that he will never do it again. He feels wretched for those who have been affected.

“He works as a tattooist and is self-employed. He has dedicated his time and life to supporting his wife so she can sustain her employment.”

Henry, of New Line, Bacup, was of previous good character.

He pleaded guilty to one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Burnley Magistrates’ Court on October 31.

Sentencing, Judge Daniel Prowse said: “The description given by Mr Mahmood is one of you approaching a roundabout. The speed at which you approached it and the manner of your driving suggested you were unaware it was approaching.

“Seeing he was in imminent risk of a head-on collision and taking evasive manoeuvres, he accelerated to avoid you.

“It is frankly a miracle the injuries sustained by Mr Mahmood, his passenger, you, your children, were not fatal.

“You are a man of previous good character. This is out of character for you. I accept you are genuinely remorseful for what you did.”

Judge Prowse sentenced Henry to two years in prison, suspended for 18 months. He will be subject to an electronic curfew between 9pm and 6am for three months, have to complete 200 hours unpaid work, be disqualified from driving for three years, and pay £425 costs.

Judge Prowse added: “By the narrowest of margins, I am persuaded by your strong mitigation, realistic prospect of rehabilitation, and detrimental impact on your children and family, that require me to suspend this sentence. But it is by the narrowest of margins.”