A DANGEROUS driver got behind the wheel of a car just hours after he was spared jail for seriously injuring a motorcyclist.

Judge Timothy Stead was told that Gilbert Chendjou-Tamba was remorseful after colliding with 40-year-old Karl Taylor, leaving him with inreversible brain damage and almost blind in one eye in May last year.

A jury had found the married father-of-four guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after hearing how he attempted to overtake a lorry on Wigan Road, Westhoughton, and headed into the path of Mr Taylor's Yamaha, which was travelling in the opposite direction.

Chendjou-Tamba, aged 41, had been heading home after work at 11.20pm and the the judge commented that the consequences of his poor driving "could hardly have been very much worse".

Mr Taylor still has to have visits from nurses several times a week, cannot walk unaided and finds speech difficult.

In court on September 1 Judge Stead accepted that Chendjou-Tamba had not been driving badly for a protracted period of time or travelling at excessive speed and so sentenced him to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered him to do 150 hours unpaid work.

Chendjou-Tamba, of Langley Drive, Deane, was also banned from driving for four years after which he will have to take an extended driving test.

But Cameroon-born Chendjou-Tamba flouted the court's decision, and at 5am the morning after the sentence hearing he climbed behind the wheel of his Toyota Corolla — the same vehicle involved in the collision — and drove to work.

Colin Buckle, prosecuting, revealed how when Chendjou-Tamba arrived at Vernacare he told a colleague what he had done and police were informed.

Officers were waiting for Chendjou-Tamba outside the Folds Road business when he finished work in the afternoon and stopped his car as it drove out.

Chendjou-Tamba had asked a friend to drive him home but he admitted to officers that he had driven the car in the morning.

This was confirmed when police viewed the company's CCTV and saw him driving into the premises.

Chendjou-Tamba pleaded guilty to driving while banned and breaching a suspended prison sentence.

Judge Stead activated the suspended prison sentence, jailing Chendjou-Tamba for 18 months.

Mr Taylor's wife, Rebecca said she was shocked that Chendjou-Tamba had driven again.

She said: "Part of being remorseful is facing up to the consequences of your actions.

"At the time we just wanted the right verdict. We weren't bothered about him going to prison because we thought he was remorseful.

"This has completely thrown us. He dragged us through the whole court process, which was painful enough, and this has just brought it all back.

"I am shocked because he came across as an honest man."