A MECHANIC who restores classic cars has been banned from driving for nine months after crashing into a railway bridge and refusing to give a breath or blood sample.

Paul Tomlin broke three ribs, fractured bones in both legs and damaged a lung when he crashed his car, which was carrying one passenger, after they left a village pub.

The 51-year-old met the stranger in the carpark of the Anchor Inn, Wyre Piddle, near Pershore, around 10pm on Christmas Eve last year, prior to the accident in his new Subaru Impreza.

Collette Orton, prosecuting, said the defendant took the man for a spin the car, before crashing on the B4083, causing “excessive damage to the car and the railway bridge.”

She said the passenger had described Tomlin “accelerating harshly” – leaving him fearing for his own safety as he was being continually “pushed back into his seat”.

However, he was unharmed in the crash.

When officers arrived, they described the defendant as “laughing” and Ms Orton said he "point blank refused to give a breath sample.”

Back at the police station, he said he was Buddhist so he couldn’t provide a sample of blood, said Ms Orton.

Mark Sheward, defending, said Tomlin recollects having drunk “two or three pints over several hours.”

However, he suggested if the passenger had thought he was unfit to drive, he would not have got into the car.

Tomlin, who lives on a house boat called ‘Let it Be’ – moored at Wyre Piddle Marina – spent three months in hospital after the crash, his solicitor told the court.

Mr Sheward said: “If you have got three broken ribs you are going to find it difficult to blow into a roadside breath test.”

He added: “His business would suffer tremendously if he were to lose his licence as part of his job is to test drive cars."

At Worcester Magistrates Court on June 7, Tomlin was banned and ordered to pay £636 in costs and fines.