A DRINK driver fractured his spine when he wrapped his car around a tree, Island magistrates heard last Tuesday.

Neil Leslie Simmonds, 44, of West Street, Ryde, was found unconscious by police officers at the smashed up car on Ashey Road, on December 7.

He admitted driving with excess alcohol — more than double the legal limit. His reading was 172 in blood, when the legal limit is 80.

Ann Smout, prosecuting, said it was 1am when police officers heard a car wheel spinning on West Street, and saw a car speed off with no lights on.

They followed, and soon found the car crashed into a tree, with the side of the vehicle hanging off.

An ambulance was called for Simmonds, who went on to spend three days in St Mary's Hospital.

Blood samples were analysed, which confirmed he had been drink driving.

Barry Arnett, for Simmonds, said: "He had a tiff with his partner and sped off, wrapping his car around a tree.

"He suffered fractures to his spine and a head injury.

"His partner didn't know where he had gone or what had happened to him."

Presiding magistrate Fay Seabourne said: "It was not just your life in your hands that day, it was everyone else's, and you had complete disregard for that."

Simmonds was given an 18 month disqualification from driving, and a nine-month community order to include ten rehabilitation days to address his impulsive behaviour.

He must pay a £50 fine, £90 surcharge and £85 costs.