AN UNINSURED hit-and-run driver who left a pedestrian lying in the road with serious head injuries has been spared jail by a judge.

Law student Sebit Shah had only passed his driving test 10 days before he hit 31-year-old John Cundle late at night while driving an Astra in Bolton Road, Farnworth.

Mr Cundle suffered serious head injuries in the accident on March 11 last year, but is now back at home.

Shah, aged 24, of Barnes Close, Farnworth, had been due to stand trial for dangerous driving yesterday, but instead the court accepted his guilty pleas to driving without due care and attention, failing to stop after an accident and driving without insurance.

Fining Shah £1,000 plus a £15 victim surcharge, Judge Steven Everett told him that his most serious offence was failing to stop as some other driver could have killed Mr Cundle by not seeing him lying injured in the road.

“It is important to bring home the message to you and others that, even in a moment of blind panic, it is not a good idea just to carry on,” he said.

The court heard that it was the first time Shah had driven on his own at night when, at 11pm, he struck Mr Cundle, who was drunk and standing in the carriageway and dressed in dark clothing.

Accident investigators concluded Shah was travelling at less than 30mph.

But Shah drove to his sister’s house where he told his family what had happened and his brothers returned to the scene.

When police arrived to question Shah they found paramedics treating him for shock and fainting.

David Morton, defending, said the accident has had a devastating effect on Shah, who has given up studying law and is taking a history and politics degree instead. He also suffers flashbacks, is tearful and is being treated for depression, said Mr Morton.

Shah’s driving licence has been revoked and he will have to pass anothe