A drunk driver who skipped traffic lights, crashed into a wall and vaulted a barrier onto a riverbank, fracturing his back, as he fled the police has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Daniel William Hughes, 24, was sentenced at Mold Crown Court on Thursday, May 20, after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and driving over the legal alcohol limit at Welshpool Magistrates' Court on April 20.

At around 10.45pm on November 14, police officers saw a Citroen DS3 driven by Hughes going through two red lights on New Road and near the KFC restaurant in Newtown.

Prosecuting barrister Paulinus Barnes said Hughes failed to stop after police flashed their blue lights. Hughes' car then collided with a wall and he was seen getting out and then jumped off a barrier falling onto a river bank below.

The officers said that Hughes was "unresponsive" and having difficulty breathing. A blood sample found that Hughes had 122 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of his blood. The legal limit is 80.

The prosecution said Hughes had limited recollection and had accepted his driving was dangerous. Asked in a police interview why he did not stop, Hughes said: "I can only assume I panicked".

Defending barrister John Hedgecoe said Hughes had a relatively low amount of alcohol in his blood and that he had been "completely honest" about the incident. He added that Hughes needed hospital treatment for a fractured back after he had jumped off the barrier near the McDonalds restaurant.

Mr Hedgecoe told the court that Hughes had shown "genuine remorse" for putting his three passengers at risk.

"He had a very rude awakening about how his behaviour can get him into trouble. He has found it difficult to come to terms with that," he said.

Hughes, of Crescent Gardens, Newtown, escaped jail as he was handed a 10-month sentence, with Judge Niclas Parry suspending it for 18 months. He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months and another 12 months for driving with excess alcohol which will run concurrently. Hughes was given a three-month curfew and ordered to pay £420 costs and £50 surcharge.

Judge Parry told Hughes: "Your offending that night escalated because you were drunk and, quite carelessly leaving three passengers at risk, you fled."

He added that he gave Hughes maximum credit for his early guilty plea, and that it was a "very short" incident. He said that Hughes was a "good worker in good employment with a stable home and had taken steps to address his behaviour".