A SLEEP-deprived motorist who injured a friend in a crash on the A5 earlier this year has been fined and disqualified from driving.

Anthony Churchill of Gladstone Close in Weymouth, appeared before Mold Crown Court for sentence on Friday, December 15.

The 29-year-old previously, at a hearing at Llandudno Magistrates Court on September 29, pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by driving.

Laura Knightly, prosecuting, told the court that Churchill had driven from Dorset to North Wales alongside work friend Mateusz Szwarc on June 16 of this year.

Arriving at around 10.30pm that evening, the pair had set up a tent at the foot of Y Wyddfa in order to watch the sunrise the following morning (June 17).

Having been up the mountain that morning, Churchill and Mr Szwarc then set off back home at around 7.30am with the defendant driving his Nissan vehicle and his friend in the front passenger seat.

At around 8.10am, as the vehicle approached a stretch of road involving bends along the A5, between Corwen and Llangollen, Churchill was said to be driving on the 'other side of the carriageway'.

His Nissan was travelling towards oncoming traffic and narrowly avoided a Ford Fiesta, before colliding with a Mercedes CLS which 'rotated 180 degrees', Ms Knightly said.

The driver of that vehicle, a Mr Briggenshaw, sustained 'minor injuries' but Mr Szwarc was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital before being transferred to Stoke.

He sustained fractures to his spine and ribs, as well as bruising to his pancreas, among other 'life-changing injuries'.

Mr Szwarc also underwent surgery before being discharged from hospital on June 23.

When interviewed, Churchill told police he had felt like he 'dozing off' as he searched for a layby to stop in.

He then admitted to not having slept in '24 hours' and said he had 'fell asleep' while behind the wheel, adding that his driving had been 'dangerous'.

Simon Killeen, defending, said that Churchill has shown 'palpable remorse' following the incident and added that he and Mr Szwarc remain friends.

He added that the defendant had made a 'poor decision' that was 'highly unlikely to be repeated'.

Sentencing Churchill, Judge Rhys Rowlands said: "You shouldn't have been driving a that time and, effectively, decided to take a risk."

Churchill was sentenced to a period of 14 months, which was suspended for 18 months. 

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and will have to pass an extended test to regain his licence.

Judge Rowlands also ordered that Churchill to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and he was fined £1,500, and must pay a further £500 in prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £180.