A DRINK-driver more than twice the legal limit ran away after bonneting a biker, leaving her lying injured in the road.

Shaun Price was slammed by a judge who said he ‘did not give a hoot’ that day and was ‘very fortunate not to have killed her’.

The 35-year-old father was told his ‘disgraceful’ actions constituted ‘one of the worst examples of dangerous driving the court has seen for some time’.

But despite inflicting a ‘brush with death’ on the biker and causing her ‘excruciating’ injuries, he was spared being sent to prison.

Price appeared before Liverpool Crown Court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of dangerous driving, drink-driving and failing to stop after an accident.

The court heard from prosecutor Christopher Hopkins how the incident occurred on Hollins Lane in Winwick, in the direction of Burtonwood, on June 24 last year, at around 7.40pm.

The victim, who had five years of experience and considered herself ‘competent’, was riding her motorbike on a route well known to her.

While she would normally wear full protective gear, due to it being a hot day, she was only wearing a vest, shorts, helmet and gloves.

She was being ‘very careful’ on approaching the junction with Watery Lane, reducing her speed and checking her mirrors and blind spot, as the junction ‘has a reputation for being dangerous’.

The victim indicated to turn left but heard an engine noise behind her, before a vehicle – a black Land Rover Discovery driven by the defendant – ‘came out of nowhere, moving fast with the engine sounding stressed’.

Mr Hopkins said the biker was ‘catapulted up into the air’ before becoming aware of an ‘intense pressure in her lower back and burning sensation’ after being thrown onto the bonnet and being knocked unconscious.

The Land Rover continued down the road with the motorbike underneath it for 200 metres before coming to a stop, as shown by dashcam footage played in court.

The victim managed to crawl to safety by the side of the road, after being thrown into the path of an oncoming car, as witnesses came to her aid – unlike Price, who ran away into a field.

She was in ‘intense pain and felt like she could not breathe, and she was taken to hospital to receive treatment for her wounds.

A layer of skin was removed through contact with the road surface, which was ‘unpleasant and painful’, and the complainant suffered mobility and sleep trouble for weeks afterwards, as well as a financial loss from being signed off work and attending medical appointments.

Witnesses reported seeing the Land Rover approaching the collision ‘very fast, weaving and on the wrong side of the road’ with Price ‘not appearing to brake’ before the crash.

The crash occurred at the junction of Hollins Lane, Alder Lane and Watery Lane. Picture: Google Maps

The crash occurred at the junction of Hollins Lane, Alder Lane and Watery Lane. Picture: Google Maps

One witness said the defendant was ‘slurring his words and mumbling incoherently’ after leaving his vehicle, with the ‘smell of alcohol overpowering’.

Police were called and attended the scene, with an officer ‘giving chase’ across a field before detaining Price, who had the car key on him and on whom the officer could ‘smell intoxicant’.

Price was said to be ‘slurring his words, with a glazed expression and unsteady on his feet’, with bodycam footage played in court showing him swearing at out-of-breath officers after giving a false name.

A search of the Land Rover, which also smelt of alcohol, found an unopened bottle of beer and a pint glass it is suspected the defendant was drinking from while driving.

Price refused to do a roadside breath test, but he did so at Runcorn Custody Suite which produced a lower reading of 86 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of his breath – putting him at more than double the legal drink-drive limit.

He told officers a ‘cock and bull story’ that he had been to a pub in St Helens and got into the car with someone else who was driving, but that after the crash he jumped into the driver’s seat, grabbed the keys and ran away.

The victim was present in court and read out her impact statement in person, detailing how she now feels like she has the ‘body of an old woman’ due to her soft tissue damage.

Her mental health also suffered a ‘deep decline’, with anxiety causing her hair to fall out, and she ‘felt like she was dying’ from her injuries.

“I used to be outgoing and bold, but I am now shy, timid, reserved and a shadow of my former self,” she said.

“I am angry at the driver as he has taken a large portion of my year from me, and I am worried he will hit someone else.

“He did not care about if I lived or died. He was more concerned about not being in the area when the police arrived.

“If he hit me an inch differently, I could have died. My brush with death has changed my life forever.”

Recorder William Waldron described the victim’s statement as ‘moving, articulate and brave’, stating that her experience must have been ‘excruciating’.

Mr Hopkins informed the court that Price has four previous convictions for six offences, including two separate incidents of drink driving.

Representing Price, Trevor Parry-Jones highlighted how there are two sides to his client – when drunk and when he is a ‘hard-working individual providing for his family’, who are ‘appalled’ by what he did.

Shaun Price was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court

Shaun Price was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court

The court heard he turned to drink after experiencing ‘tremendous debt’, but makes no excuses for his behaviour, is ‘remorseful and extremely, extremely upset’ and pleaded guilty to all offences.

Before sentencing, Recorder Waldron said: “A car driven badly and in the wrong hands is a dangerous weapon that creates a potential lethality to other innocent road users.

“Even if impaired by drink, that decision to drive while drunk is a direct and deliberate choice, with utterly no regard for the impact on others innocently going about their business, with devastating consequences.

“It was good fortune those injuries were not far more severe. She said she had a brush with death – in my judgement, that is exactly what happened.

“This was an appalling incident of driving, and you are very fortunate the victim was not killed.

“At no point (in police bodycam footage) did you express any concerns for the motorcyclist lying on the road or express a single word of remorse.

“This is one of the worst examples of dangerous driving this court has seen for some time.”

However, as the defendant was deemed to be a ‘realistic prospect for rehabilitation’ and to have demonstrated ‘genuine remorse’, as well as a determination that his family would suffer if her was jailed immediately, the custodial sentence was suspended.

Recorder Waldron concluded: “When I walked into court, I had no doubt you needed to go to jail today.

“There is a large part of me that desperately wants to send you to jail now, as what you did was so disgraceful.

“You heard the impact of what you did to her life, and on that day you did not give a hoot.

“You should be under no doubt you deserve prison, as this court thinks you do. However, not without huge hesitation, I am going to suspend the sentence of imprisonment.”

Price, of Conroy Way in Newton-le-Willows, was sentenced to 16 months in prison suspended for two years.

He must also abide by an alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement for 120 days, undertake 24 rehabilitation activity requirement days and complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

In addition, the court disqualified him from driving for five years and ordered that he must pass an extended test before getting behind the wheel again.