A WEDDING guest who crashed into two police vehicles as he drove off after a row at the reception in a Kidderminster hotel has been jailed.
Shaun Commander hit the bumper of a police car and crashed into the side of a police van as he drove off with no headlights on from the Gainsborough Hotel in Bewdley Hill, Kidderminster, in the early hours of the morning, Worcester Crown Court was told.
The 38-year-old left his passenger and the police van driver without checking on their condition and ran off to hide in some nearby gardens, Ian Windridge, prosecuting, told the court.
Commander arrived at his cousin's wedding celebration on the afternoon of August 13 last year, Mr Windridge said. As the evening went on, the woman he was with got into an argument with the bride and they were asked to leave.
Police had been called and as Commander went to drive away in his BMW at around 12.40 am on August 14, other guests told them he had been drinking.
Commander drove at speed across the car park and stopped to avoid hitting a taxi. An officer went to the door of his car and Commander turned sharply, causing the officer to get out of the way.
He drove onto Bewdley Hill with no headlights on and through a red traffic light into the side of the police van that had come to assist, causing £13,500 worth of damage.
Commander, of Penrhynside, Llandudno, pleaded guilty at the start of a trial to dangerous driving. He also admitted driving without a full licence, having no insurance and failing to stop after an accident.
The court heard the father of three was unable to give a specimen for drink diving because he was taken to hospital with three broken ribs and a punctured lung following the accident.
The court heard he had intended to drive a short distance to a nearby hotel but he now accepted he made the wrong decision and should not have driven.
Judge Nicolas Cartwright said Commander had a "dreadful" record of 117 offences for fraud and dishonesty and a number of motoring offences though he had never passed a driving test.
The judge said the very fact that a police car had arrived at the reception and an officer was trying to speak to him should have brought him to his senses but he drove off, hitting the police car to get away.
He drove into the police van, which was sideways on and highly visible, causing the airbags in the van and the car to activate and left his passenger screaming and the officer shaken. Both were unhurt, the court heard.
"You did not stop to see if they were okay," the judge told Commander.
"You ran off to try to get away to save your own skin."
Commander was jailed for a total of 18 months. He was also banned from driving for two years, effective from the date of his release, and will have to take an extended test.