A DANGEROUS driver smashed into a man crossing the road less than an hour after he picked up a high-powered sports car.

Audiologist Mohammed Patel drove the BMW M4 convertible at speeds of over 80mph on Wigan Road, which has a 30mph limit, just seconds before he struck Karl Vause as he crossed the road.

But, following a trial of issue at Bolton Crown Court, Judge Graeme Smith ruled that, at the point of impact, 24-year-old Patel had reduced his speed and was travelling at 45 to 50mph.

The prosecution had alleged that Patel, who had been recorded as doing up to 88mph just 102 metres before the impact, had continued travelling at that speed.

But two witnesses, Marc Brolli and Barry Vennard, who were travelling on the opposite carriageway to Patel, placed his speed at up to 50mph.

Patel, giving evidence himself, stated that they may have been mistaken in their belief that the BMW was accelerating because the silencer on the vehicle had been bypassed and was noisy.

Mr Vause suffered multiple injuries, including broken ribs and limbs and was in hospital for five weeks. He had to postpone his wedding due to the collision.

The court heard that Mr Vause was on his way to the Tesco Express shop, crossing the busy Wigan Road on May 20 last year, when the collision occurred.

In court Patel, who had two passengers in the car, claimed that he had seen father-of-two Mr Vause in the road as he crossed and decelerated but then claimed the pedestrian stepped back into his path.

“He came back into the road and that’s why I was trying to avoid him,” he said.

The car suffered a smashed windscreen and the car pulled into a layby.

Patel claimed he immediately got out of the car and headed towards the victim in the road, turning back briefly to check his handbrake was on.

But the court was shown CCTV footage of Patel checking the front of the vehicle before heading towards Mr Vause.

When initially interviewed by police he claimed he had been doing 30 to 35mph on the road while, in court, he admitted he was doing more than 80mph when he overtook another car. He claimed he looked at the speedometer just before the collision and it read 40-45mph.

Judge Graeme Smith was scathing of what he described as Patel’s attempts to justify his actions.

“I accept your remorse is genuine. But having said that, your attempts to justify your actions do detract from that remorse because it will have been very hard for Mr Vause to listen to that without feeling that, in some way, you were seeking to blame him even though you said you weren’t,” he said.

Steven Levine, defending, said Patel, of Essingdon Street, Bolton, who pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving was of previous good character, running a successful business and doing charity work.

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced him to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, ordered him to do 300 hours of unpaid work and he will be electronically tagged and subject to an 8pm to 7am curfew for six months.

The judge said: “I appreciate that may impact on your business but, to put it bluntly, if it does, that’s tough. It won’t impact as much as going to custody would.”

He told Patel: “You were driving a high performance car. You were unfamiliar with it. You therefore, should have been particularly cautious when driving it.

“Your speed was grossly excessive. Although you were reducing your speed, you were not doing so quickly enough.”

Patel was also banned from driving for two years after which he will have to take an extended retest.