A MAN, who was jailed for two years after ploughing a quad bike into an ambulance worker on Southend seafront, has a string of motoring offences, a court was told.

James Lewis, 28, left Victor Brushette, 56, with a punctured lungs, eight fractured ribs, a broken shoulder and leg injuries so serious, he faces a long battle to ever walk again.

Lewis, a dad-of-two, from Poplar, East London, told Basildon Crown Court, he was “remorseful and disgusted” by his actions on May 23.

On that day he drove his unregistered black Suzuki quad bike at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour in Western Esplanade, despite speed limit being 30mph.

Lewis has 20 previous convictions – mostly for driving offences – and spent three months in a young offender institution for driving while disqualified in 2002.

Prosecutor Ian Elkins, told the court how Mr Brushette witnessed a minor collision between two cars in Western Esplanade.

He was standing in the road, after having being asked to direct traffic away from the scene by police.

The court heard some witnesses saw Lewis approaching on the bike “revving” his engine and with a “smirk” on his face.

Mr Elkins said: “He was weaving in and out of the traffic to try to overtake cars.”

He also told how one witness believed Lewis was playing “chicken” with Mr Brushette, to see if he would jump out of the way first.

However, Judge Alan Saggerson said the evidence suggested Lewis simply lost control of the bike.

The bike should never have been driven on a public roadway in the first place.

The judge said: “You drove in an irresponsible nature of the highest order. Fortunately for you, you did not kill this ambulance worker.

“It would seem he is slowly, but surely making some level of recovery.

“However, you have left him with catastrophic and life-changing injuries.”

Lewis, who sustained a number of injuries himself in the incident, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Brushette.

He was sentenced to two years in custody and banned from driving for four years.

As he was led out of the dock in handcuffs, he mouthed “I love you” to his fiancee and his family, who had packed out the public gallery.