A driver from Exmouth has been banned after he knocked a motorcyclist off his bike and caused such serious injuries that the victim may never work again.

Joshua Hempstead was heading into Exeter on the morning of October 3, 2022 when his Vauxhall van sideswiped rider Stephen Phillips as he pulled out to overtake without checking his mirrors.

Other drivers had seen the van veering between the two lanes of the short stretch of dual carriageway at Clyst St Mary just before the accident on the Exeter-bound side of the A376.

Hempstead drove off but later returned to the scene where Mr Phillips was being treated for injuries to his arms and upper body which were severe enough to need an operation on his shoulder during a three-week stay in hospital.

He has been told by surgeons that he is unlikely to be able to work again and is still on strong painkillers more than a year later, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Hempstead, aged 30, of Green Close, Exmouth, admitted causing serious injury by careless driving and was banned from driving for a year by Judge David Evans, and ordered to do 140 hours unpaid community work, 12 days of rehabilitation activities and to pay £400 costs.

The judge told him: “The cause of this accident was you not paying enough attention and not looking over your shoulder or at your offside mirror. It is easy to be careless but it is always a criminal offence because of the enormous risk it poses.

“The consequences for Mr Phillips were not intended but they have been very great indeed. He suffered significant physical injury, psychological consequences and fractures to his left arm which is likely to leave a disability that will linger.”

Miss Beth Rickerby, prosecuting, said the accident happened at Clyst St Mary on the morning of Thursday October 3, 2022, when Mr Phillips was on his way to work. He suffered broken ribs and serious arm and shoulder injuries.

Mr Phillips read out his victim personal statement which said he has sought counselling for disturbing nightmares and flashbacks, is still in pain, and has been told by doctors he is unlikely to work again.

He said he was particularly distressed by being unable to cradle his young grandson in his arms for fear that his injured arm would not be strong enough to hold him.

Mr Paul Dentith, defending, said Hempstead made a momentary error of judgment and drove on because he did not realise he had caused an accident. He was driving legally at the time with a licence and insurance.

He said any disqualification may affect his ability to work in the short term.