A 29-YEAR-OLD joiner was jailed for 16 months on Friday, after fleeing from the scene and leaving another driver seriously injured in a head-on crash.

James Leach had also failed to stop after accidents on two previous occasions several years ago, Caernarfon crown court was told.

Leach, of Oak Road, Chelford, Macclesfield, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving after a smash between his Ford Ranger pick-up and a VW van on the A499 at Llandwrog in Gwynedd a month ago. He also admitted failing to stop.

Ryan Rothwell, prosecuting, said Leach was driving towards Pwllheli at 5am and overtook, hitting the car of Mr Ifan Price in an impact which was "catastrophic".

Mr Price had a fractured rib and finger, a punctured lung and other injuries and lost blood, being tended by members of the public who had stopped and then taken to hospital at Bangor.

"The defendant says he walked into a field and fell asleep," said Mr Rothwell. Then he went by bus and taxi to the caravan where he had been living at Efailnewydd, near Pwllheli.

He and an employee, who had been in the pick-up, were arrested there just after 9am. In an impact statement Mr Price said he didn't know whether he would recover fully and the crash had left him stressed and anxious.

Ben Rich, defending, said Leach wished to express his deep remorse about the injuries he had caused.

He drank two pints that night and was the designated driver after visiting a Bangor nightclub.

There was no evidence to suggest excessive drinking by Leach.

The defendant stated he had wandered off after the crash and passed out in a field.

He returned to the scene when he woke up but the vehicles were no longer there.

Judge Huw Rees said there was no evidence to make any assumption that Leach's driving was impaired by alcohol. Passing sentence, the judge said members of the public had gone to Mr Price's aid "but you showed no such concern and eventually fled the scene - you would have been aware that something was very much amiss."

The judge accepted that for more than seven years Leach had turned his life around from earlier criminality.

He had his own joinery business and was married with two children and another baby expected.

Despite a defence plea for a suspended sentence the judge said there had to be immediate prison.

"This was a very bad piece of driving which caused an obvious danger to other road users. In addition you failed to stop and that is an aggravating factor."

Leach was jailed for 16 months for dangerous driving which caused serious injury and a concurrent four months for failing to stop.

He was banned from the road for four years and eight months and will have to take an extended re-test.