A DRUNKEN motorist smashed into the front of a busy takeaway before attempting to drive off and crashing head-on into another car.

Aamir Patel wrote off his father’s £22,000 Mercedes in the crash and a judge told him that it was ‘a miracle’ no one was injured.

Bolton Crown Court heard that 25-year-old Patel’s family are so appalled by his behaviour that they have taken away the house they provided for him and his wife.

Haseeb Yousaf, prosecuting, told the court that Patel, who works for an aeronautical engineering company, was spotted driving the black Mercedes E-Class on College Way, Bolton at 8pm on November 9 by off-duty police officer Paul Nickeas.

“He appeared to be driving extremely fast for the road conditions at the time,” said Mr Yousaf, who added that it was dark and traffic was heavy.

Seconds later the officer turned into Deane Road and saw the Mercedes had crashed into the Naz takeaway, where seven or eight customers were inside and several people outside. A window and wall were damaged.

But rather than stop, Patel continued driving, ‘swerving and snaking’ through traffic, often on the wrong side of the road, before hitting the back of a Honda Civic and being forced to a halt when he collided head-on with a Vauxhall Astra.

He was detained by PC Nickeas and a breath test revealed Patel had drunk almost three times the legal limit of alcohol.

The court heard that, when shown CCTV of his driving Patel was horrified and conceded: “I was completely out of control. I don’t see how.”

Patel pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and drink driving, but the Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Timothy Clayson, was told that the 25-year-old has no previous convictions.

“He is a young man with much to his credit in his past and a very successful future to look forward to,” said Russell Davies, defending.

He added that, in a bid to address his alcohol problems Patel in now attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and has appointments with Bolton’s drug and alcohol team.

He has also informed his employer about his offending and they are being supportive.

“There is a very real likelihood that he will be entirely rehabilitated,” said Mr Davies, who added that Patel’s family have insisted he pay back the cost of the written-off Mercedes.

“An immediate custodial sentence for this man would be devastating in its impact on other parties,” said Mr Davies.

Patel, formerly of Longfield Road, Bolton, and now of Cledwen Road, Chester, wept in the dock as he was sentenced 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months and ordered to complete 180 hours unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for three years after which he must take an extended retest and he must pay £500 towards prosecution costs.

Judge Clayson told Patel: “It was a miracle that no one appears to have been hurt.

“Driving when drunk, causing collisions and posing a very high risk of injury or worse to numerous individuals is very serious.”

However, after hearing about Patel’s background and the efforts he has made to address his problems Judge Clayson said it was right not to jail him immediately. “I’m satisfied that, in doing so, I am taking a course that is as much in society’s interests as it is in yours,” the judge told Patel.