A MOTORCYCLIST who was riding at reported speeds of up to 120mph before careering into the back of a Land Rover has been banned from driving for three years.

Stephen Neil Woodward, 30, of Sowerby, Thirsk, suffered serious injuries in the crash which happened in February on the A168 between Dishforth and Thirsk.

Witnesses told police he was "absolutely flying" and "thundered past" them on the road with estimated speeds of between 100 to 120mph.

As he approached a Land Rover travelling in the same direction, he failed to brake sufficiently and his 1000cc Kawasaki bike ploughed into the rear of the vehicle.

The motorbike was thrown into the air and Woodward was thrown from it. An air ambulance transferred him to hospital. York Crown Court was told Woodward's injuries have since been described as 'life-changing'. The other driver was traumatised but unhurt.

North Yorkshire Police investigated and charged Woodward with dangerous driving. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten months in prison suspended for a year as well as the three year ban. At the end of the ban he will have to take an extended retest before he can regain his licence. The judge also ordered him to pay a £140 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, Traffic Constable Rob Roberts who led the investigation for North Yorkshire Police said: "The way Woodward was riding on that day was frankly ridiculous. Although he has suffered life-changing injuries, it’s a miracle that he survived with his life and nobody else was seriously hurt.

"While it may be tempting to push high-performance vehicles to their limits, North Yorkshire’s roads are not the place to do it. People often don’t think of the consequences until it’s too late, consequences that include a criminal record, driving bans, custodial sentences and worst of all you could seriously injure or kill other road users. Anyone who thinks that’s a risk worth taking should not be on our roads."