THE driver of a road-sweeper with a faulty brake disc was over the drink-drive limit when he drove dangerously and at high speed, a court heard.

Magistrates were told that the heavy goods vehicle forced two cars off the road before overturning and blocking the A65 near Austwick.

Ariel Babiarz stopped but then drove off after being involved in one collision along on the narrow B6480 at Bentham. The collision left the car on its side after the driver attempted to swerve out of the way, Skipton Magistrates' Court was told.

Babiarz, 29, then proceeded along the A65 towards Clapham where he lost control on a bend, overturning the vehicle and blocking the road.

He received minor injuries and provided a positive roadside breath test before being taken to hospital. He was later found to have 146 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, the legal limit being 80.

One driver, the court was told, described the HGV repeatedly coming up behind him at speed and straying onto the wrong side of the road. Another witness, travelling to the Lake District, said the HGV had come towards them at high speed, forcing them off the road and into a ditch before rolling over.

The driver of a Volkswagen involved in the first collision, in a statement read out in court by prosecutor Martin Butterworth, said how she was on her way from Clapham to Bentham, on a narrow road, when the road sweeper came towards her. She said it was in collision with her vehicle, causing it to flip over. While she was being treated for bruising by paramedics, Babiarz drove off, said Mr Butterworth.

A second witness, who was driving from Bentham towards Clapham, described how the wagon driver had kept coming up close to him and then backing off and straying across the road. He had been relieved when turning onto the A65 and being able to ‘build up a gap’, said Mr Butterworth.

Another witness described seeing 'a truck’ approaching at speed and on the wrong side of the road. They had ended up in a ditch, and had seen the HGV roll over.

It was later discovered that there was a fault with one of the vehicle’s brake discs. Babiarz had reported it as not being ‘in good working order’ but had continued to drive the vehicle.

Mr Butterworth said Babiarz, a man of previous good character, had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Babiarz, of Maudsley Street, Accrington, admitted driving a vehicle dangerously on both the B6480 and on the A65 and also driving while over the alcohol limit on March 9. He will be sentenced at Bradford Crown Court on August 23.