An unemployed father-of-five who had a row with his partner while speeding “manically” in his car, left her with eight broken ribs after smashing into the side of a house, a court has heard.
Martin McLean took off over the top of a roundabout before crashing into the house in Swinford Hollow, Little Billing, on April 3, causing severe structural damage to the property.
The owners were on holiday at the time, and returned to find the side of their home had been wrecked.
McLean and his partner were both taken to Northampton General Hospital after the crash, which also caused damage to two adjoining properties. Two of the homes were in danger of being demolished.
The cost of the damage ran into six figures, Northampton Crown Court heard on Tuesday this week.
McLean, aged 34, of Thorplands, Northampton pleaded guilty to a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He wept throughout the hearing, which he attended on crutches.
The court heard the row stemmed from McLean’s partner – the mother of two of his children – rekindling her friendship with the father of her eldest child in Ireland.
After what was described as a “chilling” threat to run her over outside a McDonald’s restaurant, an argument continued inside the car.
A motorist said they witnessed McLean driving at more than 70mph on a 40mph road in his Vauxhall Vectra. Police said he hit the house at between 37mph and 43mph.
Paul Tweddle, mitigating, said: “This case, very fortunately, does not involve the death of anyone but has caused devastation to the occupiers.
“The defendant is coming to terms with the enormity of what he has done, and there is genuine remorse on his part.
“He concedes his driving was manic and stupid, and he was in a state of emotional distress. It was completely the wrong time to be behind the wheel.”
McLean was jailed for 27 months and banned from driving for three years.
At the time of the accident, neighbours told the Chron the noise was so loud that it sounded like a bomb exploding. Martin McLean was arrested in hospital, and the owners of the houses were moved out for safety reasons. Sentencing McLean, Recorder Robert Spencer-Bernard said: “You disregarded the warnings and pleadings of your passenger.
“This incident has also quite clearly had a devastating effect on the owners of one of the houses. They came back from holiday to find their home totally wrecked. It was an appalling bit of driving, coming after these threats.”
The court heard the injured woman did not support the prosecution and wants to rekindle the couple’s relationship. She also suffered internal bleeding in the crash, and was in hospital for five days.