A TAXI driver who ran over a teenager and left her permanently disabled has been banned from driving.

Bolton Magistrates' heard how Rajatalat Mahmood hit 18-year-old Courtney Crossland on Nelson Square when she was out celebrating a friend's birthday in Bolton town centre.

Courtney was trapped beneath his Vauxhall Zafira until she was rescued by the emergency services in the accident in the early hours of July 2 last year.

Mahmood, of Victoria Street, Farnworth, admitted driving without due care and attention at Bolton Magistrates' Court and was disqualified from driving for six months. The magistrates fined Mahmood £255 and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £25 and court costs of £300.

Courtney, of Woodgate Street, Great Lever, who is still using crutches seven months later, said: "I was due to start a job two days after my accident – I was going to work in a care home. I was actually in an induced coma for a week and it was not until July 18 that I finally woke up and learned what had happened and for a further two weeks I was delusional.

"I'm hopeful I can get my life back on track. I'm not sure if I will be able to go into caring now because it involves a lot of standing on your feet and bending down, and I may be looking for a change of career."

Prosecutor Alex Orndal said Courtney left the J2 nightclub – which has since reopened under different management as Level – and crossed the road diagonally but slipped on the wet cobbles and fell on her back.

He said: "She appears to be seen by other motorists driving down that road.

"Unfortunately this defendant, who had previously been on the corner of Chancery Lane and Nelson Square, did not do so and did not see Courtney lying in the road. She describes seeing headlights coming towards her and putting her hands up to the stop the vehicle. She remembers vaguely there being people at the side of the road shouting 'Woah!'

"She remembers her hip going numb and finding herself under the car.

"She came to consciousness when people started slapping her face and holding her eyes open."

An angry group surrounded Mahmood's taxi and he was punched through the open window and both the windscreen and the back window were smashed.

Mahmood was put into a police car as much for his own protection as that of others.

Mr Orndal said: "The victim had suffered a broken pelvis and a broken collarbone and was required to have an operation that stopped her being able to walk for a period of six to eight weeks. She has had more or less weekly physiotherapy and weekly hydrotherapy sessions since that point.

"While she has made recovery, it's anticipated she will likely never make a complete recovery and will have early onset arthritis and some residual pain for the duration of her existence."

Alison Whalley, defending Mahmood, said the 33-year-old, who is married with a seven-year-old son, was of 'exemplary character'.

She said: "The CCTV shows he was taking his responsibility as a taxi driver seriously. He approached the junction slowly, he was not obliged to indicate but he sought to do so and even when he left that junction, and having stopped for a good few seconds, it was still a slow speed. He is extremely apologetic about the damage he has caused to the victim."

Courtney added: "My mum had to quit her job to look after me and now he is having to face what we faced: not being in work, and having no money.

"My family have struggled and we have been emotional. It was an accident but it still shouldn't have happened."