A MAN who deliberately drove his van at speed into a car carrying a Brierley Hill couple has been allowed to keep his freedom.

Colin Ford felt "life was not worth living" after the break-up of his relationship and the only person he wanted to hurt was himself, said Shabeer Qureshi defending.

He said the father-of-three had been alone in his van at the Merry Hill Centre when decided to take action after suffering a panic attack.

Ford, aged 32, of Pleck Road, Walsall, drove straight into the back of a car being driven by Robert Bloomer, whose girlfriend Natalia Farnsworth, was a front seat passenger.

Mr Bloomer avoided injury but his partner had to be taken to hospital for treatment for whiplash and a back problem but she was not detained.

After his arrest, Ford told police officers he had argued with his former partner and had became angry and took off his seat belt.

He then put his foot down hard on the accelerator and deliberately crashed into the other vehicle - a Renault Megane that was written off as a result of the collision.

Ford who, two years earlier drove into a lamppost because of depression, admitted dangerous driving and he was given a six month jail term, suspended for two years.

He was further placed on supervision for a year, ordered to pay £450 compensation and disqualified from driving for a year.

Recorder Marcus Tregilgas-Davey told him it was clear he had made the decision to harm himself because he was depressed after the end of his long term relationship.

Ford, he added, had caused a painful injury to the passenger in the car and it was only down to good fortune that no-one had been seriously injured or even killed.

But it was to his credit that he had a good job, he was in a new relationship and he was seeking assistance and support for his depression.

Mr Qureshi told Wolverhampton Crown Court that Ford realised he could have badly hurt the occupants of the car after he had become anxious over the fact his former partner was herself in a new relationship.