A VAN driver high on amphetamine and banned because he’s losing his eyesight crashed head-on into a police officer travelling in the opposite direction.

Anthony George was “lucky he didn’t kill himself and his victim” after ploughing into him on a bend in the Newport suburb of Bassaleg.

The 52-year-old defendant, who is registered blind, wasn’t only barred from driving after the DVLA revoked his licence because of his failing eyesight.

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He was also still serving a disqualification and suspended prison sentence for a previous drug driving conviction.

George was at the wheel of his son-in-law’s white Ford Transit van at around 3am when he was spotted by the police near the Ruperra Arms.

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Byron Broadstock, prosecuting, said: “The officer could see the defendant travelling at high speed and driving too fast for the road.

“He remained in his lane but the Transit van crossed over the road and crashed into the front of his vehicle.

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“The air bag was deployed and the officer’s head was forced forward.

“He had a ringing sensation in his ears and felt dizzy.”

Mr Broadstock said the police officer was unable to open the door of his car because of the damage and had to crawl out of the passenger side.

He found George unconscious and he was taken to hospital to be treated.

A sample was taken from the defendant and he was found to have 406 micrograms of amphetamine per litre of blood.

The legal limit for amphetamine is 250 micrograms of amphetamine per litre of blood.

Newport Crown Court heard how the police officer suffered whiplash as well as an injury to his shoulder.

George, of Heol Cae Maen, Pontypandy, Caerphilly, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

He also admitted drug driving, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and being in breach of a suspended jail sentence.

The offences were committed on March 13.

Mr Broadstock said the defendant also had previous convictions for drink driving.

Matthew Cobbe, representing George, said: “This could have led to a catastrophe.

“He could, of course, have killed himself.”

His barrister said the defendant had been driving that morning because it had been arranged for him to be picked up Newport.

George was due to have a lift to Bedford where he was going to work as a crane supervisor on a building site.

Mr Cobbe added how his client was now registered as blind and was due to have an operation in the coming weeks to help stop his degenerative eye condition.

He said: “The defendant will never drive again.”

Judge Daniel Williams told George his actions had been “outrageous and selfish”.

He said: “You did this without any thought to the harm you may have caused.”

The defendant was jailed for 50 weeks.