A MAN has been jailed after seriously injuring two men - including one of his friends - in a horror crash in Ilkley.

Aaron Menzies, 25, of Aire View, Brunthwaite Lane, Silsden, appeared before Bradford Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced, with the judge telling him it was a "miracle" no one was killed.

The crash happened at around 6.20pm on October 12 last year, when Menzies, who has no previous convictions, was driving a Vauxhall Astra along Skipton Road with his friend Craig Williams.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, told the court that prior to the crash, Menzies had been seen attempting to overtake a HGV, but was unable to because another car was approaching.

Menzies pulled back behind the lorry, but a short time later did the same thing again. This time, an Audi driven by Benjamin Warriner, who was with his partner and five-year-old son, was approaching in the opposite direction. As Menzies started to overtake, Mr Warriner had to slam his brakes on, while Menzies moved to the side, but ended up clipping the lorry.

Mr Ahmed said this caused his car to "take off", spin in the direction of the Audi and crash into it head on, leaving the Astra on its side and the other car so severely damaged it was written off.

He said off duty medics helped at the scene, with one noting a smell of alcohol "emanating from the defendant", while the fire service had to cut substantial areas of both cars away to free the occupants. The court heard Mr Warriner had been left with a laceration to his face, from his jaw area to his earlobe, and will have a permanent scar. His partner was sustained whiplash type injuries and while the little boy was not physically injured, he was "crying frantically".

Mr Williams, Menzies' front seat passenger was left with a neck fracture, while he was left with a fractured skull, neck and collarbone and remained in hospital for some time.

At the hospital, he was asked to provide a blood sample, but medics were unable to due to his injuries. Mr Ahmed said he was then asked to provide a urine sample, but refused.

In interview, he said he could not remember much about what had happened in the crash. Ken Green, for Menzies, said it was an out of character, "momentary aberration", pointed out that a witness at the scene had said she could not determine whether it was Menzies or his friend who smelt of alcohol and he did not provide a urine sample as he felt unable to, but had consented to a blood sample being taken.

Mr Green said he was a hardworking and an industrious young man, who assists his mother in caring for his twin brothers who are disabled.

In sentencing, Judge Jonathan Rose told Menzies, who pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving to Mr Warriner and Mr Williams and failing to provide a specimen of urine: "Everything I have read about you is from people who think very highly of you, that is something that has to be taken into account."

But he said it had been a "dreadful incident" and he had no reason for the "seriously dangerous" manoeuvre - or for attempting it a second time.

"You had done it once, you knew you should not do it again, yet you did so."

He questioned whether Menzies was showing off to his passenger - or whether he was under the influence of drink, as he had refused to give a urine sample.

The judge said he had shown genuine remorse and concern for those injured, but said: "There was a little boy in that car. It's a mercy, possibly a miracle, that he was uninjured physically. It's a miracle no-one was killed. I hope you recognise that, but you know, you certainly need to know, that has to be reflected in the sentence I pass on you."

Jailing him for 20 months, the judge said he was unable to suspend the sentence.

He said: "Our roads are dangerous places where adults and children are too easily killed by manoeuvres such as the one you executed."

Menzies was also disqualified from driving for nearly four years and must take an extended retest.