A hit-and-run driver who struck a cyclist – whose arm was later amputated – and laid a false trail for police officers has been sent to prison for two years.
Danny Hollowell, 25, of Northampton, wept in the dock when he appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Monday.
The court heard how Hollowell struck cyclist Simon Simon, 59, on the B571 Wellingborough Road when he overtook another motorist at speed and crashed headlong into Mr Simon after 11pm on September 25 last year.
Mr Simon, of Wellingborough, was found at the side of the road by the occupants of the vehicle overtaken by Hollowell, who said the van had been travelling at about 80mph.
His right arm had to be amputated in an operation at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.
Instead of stopping at the scene Hollowell, who later admitted to police he had been drinking earlier that evening, returned to his rented address in Baker Crescent, Irchester, where he showered and later asked his landlord to say they had been to the pub together that night.
The next morning he reported his van, which was found abandoned on the outskirts of Rushden, as stolen.
Hollowell was arrested the morning after the incident and in interviews claimed he had been at the pub on the night and had dropped the keys to his van by the front door of his home.
He said he woke the next morning to find the van stolen.
When later presented with forensic evidence which showed tiny fragments of broken glass in his clothes, hair and shower, Hollowell admitted he had been the driver but maintained he did not know for definite that he had hit a person, saying he thought he had struck a deer.
The victim, Mr Simon, had a statement read aloud in court where he said the loss of his arm had had a devastating impact on his life.
He said: “I am right-handed so it has made it virtually impossible to carry out daily tasks.
“A few days ago it took me 30 minutes to get dressed.”
Mr Simon said he lives alone, and although he has an extended family they have families of their own so are not always available to help him.
Mr Simon spent three months in various hospitals and is awaiting an operation for a prosthetic limb.
Hollowell pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.
Jailing him for a total of two years, Recorder Timothy Spencer said: “This was very, very bad driving. It was aggressive and it was probably petulant as well.
“There was an element of drink although it is impossible to know how much was in you.”
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Simon’s sister Barbara Simon thanked the people who had helped her brother and the police.