A MOTORIST who drove at twice the speed limit went through an amber light and left a cyclist with 'life-changing' injuries.

Manchester Crown Court heard Junaid Dar was driving at between 69 and 74 miles per hour on Frederick Street in Salford last April .

The road has a 30mph limit but Dar ignored this as he approached the lights at the junction with Seaford Road.

He drove through as the light turned amber and hit a bike being rode by Nicolas Cass, who had gone through a red light to cross the junction.

Dar had attempted to swerve out of the way.

The 23-year-old, of Bolton Road, Farnworth, appeared in court to be sentenced after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court heard the collision examiner concluded the crash would have been avoided if Dar had been obeying the speed limit.

Hunter Gray, prosecuting, said the crash had devastating impact on Mr Cass, who was a sports rehabilitation student at Manchester University at the time but who had to return to his family on the Isle of Man for rehabilitation.

He said: “As a result of the collision Mr Cass was taken to hospital where he stayed for 19 days.”

Mr Gray said the victim had been left with a bleed on the brain, a spinal fracture and a lung contusion. He was in a coma for five days.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Cass said: “Physically, socially and emotionally I am no longer the person I was before. I have debilitating headaches three for four times a month.”

He also said he suffered short-term memory loss and may never be able to get a job.

Mr Cass added: “Prior to the collision I was a full-time student studying sports rehabilitation, I had a promising future as a professional athlete, I studied every day and went to the gym six times a week.”

Brad Lawler, defending, said his client had a “momentary lapse of judgement” which had caused “long-standing and chronic injuries.”

He added that Dar ran his own business and had no previous convictions and asked for him to be spared a jail term.

But passing sentence, Recorder Graham Wells rejected this plea.

Mr Recoder Wells said: “It is absolutely clear you were driving far too fast.

“Mr Cass on his bicycle went through a red light. All drivers will have come across cyclists who do not observe the rules of the road.

“All drivers have to be aware there are other people on the road who may not pay attention.

“By driving at over twice the speed limit and deciding to ignore an amber traffic light you made it almost certain there would be a tragedy and there was. This sort of driving is so serious that the custody threshold is crossed.”

He jailed Dar for 28 months and banned him from driving for 39 months.