A CYSTIC fibrosis sufferer involved in a motorway crash could have ended up behind bars.

Stephen Holmes, 22, had run into the back of a Mercedes on a slip road, reversed, attempted to drive round the vehicle and hit it again.

He then drove off, but was caught by the piece of trim that fell off his car. The defendant told police he had panicked, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Holmes, of Westgate, Burnley, had been subject to a suspended prison term, imposed last year, at the time.

He admitted driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident on the M65 westbound, at Darwen, on August 11 and had been committed for sentence by magistrates.

The court heard that last March Holmes had been given 12 months in custody, suspended for two years, for producing cannabis. The £10,000 partly-commercial cannabis farm had been run by the defendant at a house in the town, where 28 healthy plants had been growing and could have yielded more than a kilo of drugs.

The earlier hearing had been told how Holmes would not smoke tobacco because of his lung problems but refused to stop using cannabis. A judge said he shouldn’t be taking it at all and gave him a chance to kick his habit.

On Monday, Holmes was back in the same dock, awaiting his fate.

Judge Ian Leeming, QC, did not activate the suspended term. He imposed 40 hours unpaid work and Holmes was fined £150, with £100 compensation.