A BANNED driver crashed a motorbike causing the vehicle to land where moments before a child had been playing.

The motorbike Terry Langham, of Rossini Close, Hatch Warren, was driving on April 22 last year ended up on one wheel as he drove it in Hill View Road, South Ham, at what one eyewitness described as a “very fast speed” towards the junction with Sandy Road.

The 30-year-old appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Friday having been found guilty by a jury at Basingstoke Magistrates Court of dangerous driving.

Langham had pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and driving without insurance at an earlier hearing.

In a statement read out by prosecutor Roderick Blain, the witness saw the defendant “pull a wheelie” before “losing control” of the bike and crashing it into a sign at the junction.

Another witness, who was in the garden of the nearby Basingstoke Labour Club, said he saw “the front wheel leave the ground” before the bike “flew through the air, breaking up and landing in an area where a child had just been playing.”

The court heard Langham, a motorcycle mechanic, was on a three year driving ban after pleading guilty to drink driving in 2016.

Defending Langham, who was in the dock on crutches, Charlie Durrant, told the court the throttle on the bike had locked and this is what caused him to lose control.

Mr Durrant said the defendant remained in a substantial amount of debt after his business fell victim to an arson attack in 2006 and he was taking the bike to arrange its sale.

“He [Langham] needed the money in a high stress situation and needed sell the bike to keep his family supported,” said Mr Durrant.

Mr Durrant added: “This was an error in judgement, it was not deliberate showing off by pulling a wheelie.

“As a result Mr Langham has sustained significant physically and mental injuries from the incident, which some may think is punishment enough.”

Sentencing, Judge Jane Miller QC, said: “You [Langham] say that you drove the vehicle out of necessity, but as a result of your stupidity you seriously injured yourself and you were lucky no-one else was harmed.”

Langham was sentenced to 12 months for dangerous driving and three months for driving while banned, both suspended, to run consecutively.

No further penalty was given for the driving without insurance charge.

Langham was also ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days and pay £250 costs.