A CHADDESLEY Corbett man who "drove like a maniac" before crashing into another car on a Redditch road was lucky no-one was killed, a court was told.

Stephen Brookes was hurrying to get his girlfriend, who was a passenger, to her driving theory test on time as he drove at speed along the Alcester Road, near Redditch, Worcester Crown Court heard.

Other drivers saw Brookes overtaking in his Audi, narrowly missing vehicles coming in the opposite direction, Amy Jackson, prosecuting, told the court. He crashed into the back of a Peugeot and then got out and started punching and kicking his car, she said.

Brookes, aged 26 and of Kidderminster Road, Chaddesley Corbett, pleaded guilty on the day of a trial to dangerous driving.

Miss Jackson said that on the day of the incident, May 24 last year, the main road was closed because power lines were down and there was congestion.

Brookes took the Alcester Road and was in a "convoy" of several cars and a lorry when he started to accelerate and overtake.

Dashboard camera footage from the lorry showed him narrowly avoiding a head-on collision before crashing into the back of a Peugeot driven by Malcolm Skyte who was with his wife on the way to take their dog for a walk in a park. They had minor whiplash injuries. The Audi went spinning out of control across the road.

Brookes told police he was in a hurry and did not know the road well and initially said the car in front had braked sharply but now accepted he had been trying to overtake, Miss Jackson said.

Jason Patel, defending, said Brookes had suffered a head injury when he was a passenger in a car involved in a crash as a teenager for which he had received compensation. He suffers from epilepsy and is unable to work at present, Mr Patel said.

Recorder Gareth Evans, QC, said Brookes "drove like a maniac" in the words of witnesses, and his driving had ended in a crash. It was pure luck that it had not resulted in death or serious injury and Brookes had no excuse for "turning the highway into a racetrack," he said.

"This was a very bad piece of driving by a man in a hurry with no regard for others on the road. When it goes wrong, he takes it out on his car," Recorder Evans said.

Brookes was given a jail sentence of 11 months suspended for two years and banned from driving for 18 months. He will have to take an extended driving test. He was also ordered to pay £2,000 towards court costs.