A man who drove two miles the wrong way along the A14 near Ipswich before crashing into another car had never previously driven a car, a court has heard.

Mircea-Adrian Iftode drove so fast westbound on the eastbound carriageway of the dual carriageway on April 10, 2020 that his passenger had asked him to slow down, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Iftode’s vehicle collided with another car at Claydon, causing serious injury to the driver whose injuries included damage to his knee.

The 28-year-old Iftode was also badly injured and spent three months in a coma and in the three years since the crash he had undergone 38 operations.

Iftode, of Cunliffe Road, Bradford, admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving without a driving licence and insurance.

He was jailed for 32 months, banned from driving for 40 months and ordered to take an extended retest.

Sentencing him, Judge David Pugh said his passenger had described the defendant repeatedly putting his foot down on the accelerator and asking him to slow down.

“You drove on the wrong carriageway for a prolonged period at speed and the minimum distance you must have travelled is 2.2 miles,” said the judge.

“You ignored the pleas of your passenger to slow down and you had never driven a vehicle before which is an aggravating feature,” he added.

He said serious damage was caused to both vehicles and the driver of the other car had suffered serious injuries which had had a profound effect on his life.

He now suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, difficulty in sleeping, loss of confidence, flashbacks and described his life as changing “immeasurably” since the collision.

Peter Spary, for Iftode, said his client, who’d never driven a car before, had been asked by a friend to drive the car.

He said Iftode had no previous convictions and was remorseful.