A NOVICE racetrack driver was left permanently disabled after his “souped-up” Honda Civic crashed head-on into a family of four whilst he was trying to overtake.

Brian Taylor was travelling at nearly twice the speed limit at 77mph on a country road when he hit the Niewiadomski family's car on the A4043 in Blaenavon.

Prosecutor Clare Wilks told Cardiff Crown Court how the father, mother and two sons also received serious injuries in the crash on July 14 2018.

The most severe were suffered by Lukaz and Anna Niewiadomski’s teenage son, who sustained internal bleeding near his liver and spleen.

Their younger son suffered a fractured left shoulder, his father a broken foot, and his mother abdominal injuries.

Taylor, aged 31, of Cwmavon Road, Blaenavon, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

His barrister Hashim Salmman told the court his client was “genuinely remorseful” for the harm he had caused the Niewiadomski family.

His lawyer outlined the life-changing injuries Taylor had suffered as a result of the smash: “The defendant sustained leg fractures, a broken arm, broken bones in his face.

“He suffered several strokes. He is paralysed on one side of his body. He has significant mobility issues.”

Mr Salmman added: “He has lost mobility in one of his arms. He is a wheelchair bound.

“The defendant was in hospital for a period of four months. He requires daily care and supervision and support in order to cope with basic daily living.”

Miss Wilks told the court: “The defendant’s Honda had been modified to increase its power and performance.

“He used his car as a novice track racer. There was an internal cage and brake pads supplied for track racing. He told the police he knew the road really well.

“The defendant said he’d had the car for three years and enjoyed driving fast.

“He said he got a thrill from track racing.”

Miss Wilks read a victim impact statement on behalf of Mr and Mrs Niewiadomski which said: “We were unable to work after the injuries we suffered and the injuries our children sustained.

“We had to apply for statutory benefits which were far less than we earned. We had to get food from foodbanks.

“Our friends, family and church members have helped us.”

The court heard the defendant had no previous convictions or driving offences recorded against him.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins said: “There are horrible cases, in particular in this instance with so many young people, and I include the defendant, receiving life-changing injuries.”

He told Taylor: “You have received punishment more than any prison sentence could mete out. You have been left permanently disabled as a result and it is unlikely you will be able to resume the life you enjoyed before.

“You will have to live with this for the rest of your life.”

The judge added that the defendant had been at the wheel of a “souped-up” car and said his driving was “wantonly dangerous”.

Judge Jenkins jailed him for 16 months, suspended for 18 months.

Taylor was banned from driving for two years and told he would have to sit an extended test if he wanted to get behind the wheel again.

The defendant was ordered to pay £340 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge.