A DANGEROUS driver has been jailed after he caused serious injuries to another person in a head-on crash while overtaking in Herefordshire.

Paul Johnstone admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford on September 1.

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison, disqualified from driving for two years and seven months, and ordered to take an extended retest when he appeared before Judge Martin Jackson at Worcester Crown Court on October 1.

Johnstone had been travelling on the B4362 at Bircher, near Leominster, at around 7am on January 14 when he decided to overtake two small lorries, prosecutor Shafquat Reaz had told magistrates at his plea hearing, at which it was decided the matter was too serious to be sentenced by magistrates.

"It was dark and the decision was not right for the time of day or the road," Mr Reaz said.

"During the overtake, he struck the victim head-on in the opposite lane. This is dangerous driving that has caused serious injury."

The court heard the victim had been taken to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital with extensive injuries including a fractured arm which was plated and pinned by doctors, trauma to his elbow and ribs, and contusions. His treatment is ongoing.

James Findon, for Johnstone, said the 56-year-old was incredibly sorry and remorseful.

"He saw the headlights of the oncoming car as he was overtaking and decided to pull into the hedge to avoid it, but the oncoming vehicle made the same decision and they crashed."

Johnstone, of Lingen, Bucknell, must also pay a £156 victim surcharge.

Investigating officer, PC Mansfield, from Hereford's Roads Policing Team said that he hoped the sentence provides assurance that the police will take allegations of dangerous driving seriously and seek to get a prosecution for them. 

"I am glad that the courts saw the severity of this offence, how it was an inherently bad decision by the defendant, Paul Johnstone, to try and overtake when he did and that as a result of the investigation, he has been penalised heavily for his actions," he said.