AN ONLINE gambling addict has been jailed after he drunkenly crashed into another car near Kingsclere, causing serious injuries to another driver.

Anthony McKeown was on his way to a gambling counselling service in Basingstoke when his Renault Kangoo van crossed into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a Ford Fiesta.

The driver of the other car, accountant Anthony Tropman, was trapped for two hours, and suffered a fractured leg, knee and spine, Winchester Crown Court heard.

Tom Wright, prosecuting, said witnesses described McKeown driving erratically before the crash on the evening of January 6 this year, on a six-mile stretch of the southbound A339 between Greenham and Kingsclere.

McKeown, who had previously mounted the kerb and had a series of near misses, crashed into ano-ther car before he ploughed into Mr Tropman’s car, Mr Wright said.

When arrested, McKeown gave a reading of 147 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood, nearly twice the legal drink-drive limit of 80mg.

Mr Wright added: “Other than the interview, he offered no explanation for the accident, other than to say he may have blacked out, although he was clearly lucid when he was spoken to at the scene by bystanders.”

The court heard that Mr Tropman, who was in court, is slowing recovering, but is still on crutches and has not been able to return to work.

McKeown, of Lynch Lane, Lambourn, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, and causing serious injury by dangerous driving at a previous hearing.

The court heard that in the 48 hours before the crash, the 47-year-old gardener had been drawn into “intense sessions” of online gambling, during which he drank beer to steady his nerves.

Michael Skelley, defending, said his client was remorseful for deciding to get in his van to drive to Basingstoke for the counselling session, despite knowing he was over the limit.

Mr Recorder James Watson sentenced McKeown to 18 months imprisonment and banned him from driving for two years.