A TEEN driver who left a cyclist for dead in the road while trying to evade police has been jailed after shocking CCTV was shown to a judge.

Warning: graphic footage

Benjamin George was just 18 when he ploughed into Jacek Szafranski in the early hours of October 27 last year.

The defendant, who was behind the wheel of a distinctive gold Vauxhall Tigra, had been driving dangerously around Bournemouth for hours before the crash.

Footage shown during a sentencing hearing showed the victim, who was on his way to work, being thrown into the air and over George's car before hitting the surface of the road.

George, now 19, drove away and abandoned the car after the crash.

Police were first called at 11.50pm on October 26 after a member of the public in Richmond Park Road reported the Tigra's "erratic" driving.

Just after midnight, police were called again by another motorist who reported having been "dangerously" overtaken by a Tigra.

The motorist said she had told the driver he was "driving like a lunatic".

However, he "laughed" and accelerated away.

At around 12.15am, the Tigra jumped a red light in Wimborne Road, Winton and almost collided with a taxi.

Police attempted to stop the car at 2.18am. George drove away, taking a roundabout the wrong way round before driving down a sliproad onto the A338 and travelling on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic.

At 3.45am, he drove away from a service station without paying for petrol and almost knocked down a pedestrian at KFC in the Lansdowne shortly after.

Police picked up George's trail in Poole Road. The defendant swerved around a police van and was accelerating away when he hit Mr Szafranski.

The victim, a top level volleyball player who competes in the Solent Volleyball Team, suffered a broken leg and wrist and several deep cuts.

Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting at Bournemouth Crown Court, said he was "lucky" not to have suffered far more serious injuries.

Mr Szafranski told police he heard an engine being loudly revved in the moments before the crash and had no way to avoid the Tigra.

"Everytime I close my eyes, the accident scene haunts me," he said.

"My life has been shattered."

George was on bail for another set of driving offences committed just over a fortnight before at the time of the crash.

During the earlier incident, which took place on October 14, he was involved in another police pursuit which saw him drive a Ford Puma the wrong way down the A338 once again.

Mr Ellacott said George had likely "learned" that police wouldn't chase him if he drove into oncoming traffic on the dual carriageway, as he did it a second time on the day he hit Mr Szafranski.

George also drove the wrong way around Springbourne roundabout and sped at around 45 miles per hour in Holdenhurst Road before going around a blind bend on the wrong side of the road.

The defendant, of Cornish Gardens, Bournemouth, entered a guilty plea to one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, along with related counts of failing to stop, failing to report a crash, having no licence or insurance and making off from a petrol station without paying.

He admitted three further charges, including driving a Ford Puma dangerously on A338 Wessex Way on October 14, and having no licence or insurance in respect of this earlier incident.

Mitigating, Nicholas Robinson said George has been left "traumatised" by his actions.

"These are not, in my submission, hollow words," he said, adding that the defendant becomes "incredibly tearful" when talking about the crash.

George thrives on "adrenaline" and has an "inability to think through the consequences of his actions," Mr Robinson added.

"He continues every day to persecute his own conscience," he said.

George, who wore a grey sweatshirt and clasped his hands behind his back as he stood in the dock, stared up at the ceiling as he was sentenced.

Judge Brian Forster QC told George he had "demolished" Mr Szafranski, adding: "Anyone could have been killed by your driving on either of these occasions."

He sentenced George to five years in a young offenders' institution, as well as an eight-and-a-half year driving ban.

The defendant blew kisses to his family in the public gallery before being led into the cells.

Sergeant Nikki Burt, of Dorset Police's traffic unit, said: "George's irresponsible, reckless and extremely dangerous actions that night endangered the lives of the public.

"It is miraculous that the victim is making a recovery and that nobody else was seriously injured or killed."

Sgt Burt praised CCTV operators during the incident.

"They were able to track George across town and this meant officers could reach the injured cyclist very quickly and provide medical attention," she said.