A drink-driver has been jailed for crashing into a pub and leaving its landlord seriously injured under tons of rubble.
Leigh Brennan lost control of his Volvo car as he drove through narrow town centre streets at 60mph and slammed into the porch of the Three Elms pub in Brixham, Devon.
He had already collided with a Mini car just yards away, injuring the driver and passenger, but did not stop and sped away before losing control and hitting the pub.
Landlord Kevin O’Neill was standing in the doorway and suffered a crushed pelvis, broken ribs and spinal injuries after being buried under masonry.
Customers rushed out and dug him out with their hands as Brennan staggered out of his car and shouted abuse at them and police when they arrived at the scene, refusing to take a breath test.
The pub’s entire pool team had been stood in the doorway just moments before the crash after arriving back from an away game at 11pm. A judge said it was a miracle that nobody was killed.
Brennan, aged 45, of Downfield Close, Brixham, admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for two years by recorder John Williams at Exeter Crown Court.
Brennan was already serving a ban after admitting
a failure to give a breath sample.
The recorder told him: “Your speed was grossly excessive, in the region of 50 or 60mph, and all the evidence points to the fact you had been drinking.
“The effect on Kevin O’Neill was very serious. He needed three operations and the occupants of the Mini were also injured. It is a miracle it was not far worse.
“Remorse was totally absent at the scene or at the police station, however, you have come to your senses since and expressed your regret for your actions.
“In this case your driving was appalling and there is the aggravating feature that you were drunk, which was no doubt the reason why you were driving grossly too fast in town streets.”
Jason Beal, prosecuting, said the driver of the Mini saw Brennan’s Volvo coming at him but could not steer away in time to stop a collision in which he and his passenger suffered cuts and bruises.
He said: “Brennan carried on driving for 100 yards until he reached the Three Elms pub, where he collided with a porch while the landlord Mr O’Neill was underneath it.
“He suffered serious injuries and was still unable to walk some weeks afterwards. The defendant was helped from the car and was obviously drunk.
“He told police his driving was stupid rather than dangerous.”
Philip Miles, defending, said Brennan now recognises he has a problem with drink and has sought help.
He said: “He has made great strides since this incident and is changing his life around.
He deserves credit for his plea of guilty.”