A VAN driver whose dangerous overtaking caused an accident which left a motorcyclist with life-changing injuries has been jailed.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how victim Robert Hope lost his left arm following the accident.

It happened on the A596 at Prospect on May 4, 2018.

Thomas James Oliver, 23, was driving a van and 'in a rush', Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Michael Maher, prosecuting, outlined how a few minutes before the accident another motorist noticed Oliver's driving and his overtaking, commenting that he was rushing and "taking chances".'

The driver had seen the defendant taking action to avoid a collision.

Just before the accident, a HGV pulled out from a farm track on to the main road.

It was as Oliver tried to overtake that lorry that the crash happened

Mr Hope, who had to give up his job as an engineer because of his injuries, was riding westbound to meet friends at Dunmail Park.

In statement, he recalled 'gasping' with shock as he saw the defendant's van heading directly for him.

It hit him head-on.

Mr Hope suffered catastrophic injuries, and was airlifted by a team from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) to hospital in Newcastle.

There were fears he might also lose his left leg - but doctors in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary saved it.

For Oliver, who admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving, Peter Horgan said the defendant was a hard-working family man.

In his statement, Oliver himself said: "I never thought in a million years that I could do this to someone else.

"My heart goes out to Mr Hope and his family for the trauma I have caused the the impact on his family."

Imposing a 16 month jail term, Judge Andrew Jefferies QC accepted the defendant had shown genuine remorse but added: "This is one of those sad cases where the victim's life has changed forever."

In addition to the jail term, the defendant, of Newsham Road, Blyth, Northumberland, was given a driving ban.

It will run for two years from his release from prison and he will also have to pass an extended retest.

After the case, Mr Hope thanked the GNAAS team and doctors who treated him, saying: "I wouldn't be here today if it hadn't been for them."