A MAN hit a motorcyclist and carried him on the bonnet of his car for 100 metres, with the bike underneath his car for 400 metres, before fleeing the scene.

James Darren Larcombe, of Broughton Avenue, Bournemouth, hit the biker on the A31 near Poulner on July 2 last year. After he shook the bike off his vehicle, a van hit it causing a fire.

Larcombe, 45, then fled the scene, ditching his smashed-up Honda Civic nine and a half miles away near junction two of the M27.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court for sentencing on Monday.

Prosecuting, Helen Easterbrook told the court Larcombe, who claimed he thought he hit an animal, had been driving at 3.20am in “good conditions”.

She said a witness saw debris on the road as well as two sets of lights, one belonging to a car and one from a motorbike.

The witness saw the car swinging from side to side, performing an “elk manoeuvre”, in an attempt to shake the bike off his vehicle.

Mrs Easterbrook said: “The rider of the motorcycle was 100 metres beyond the initial point of impact, the police officer suggesting he had been carried on the bonnet of the car for that distance.

“The police officer noted this would have been a very loud crash and it was improbable Larcombe was not aware he had hit something substantial.”

Images shown in court showed the car with significant damage to the front, with the bonnet raised up and the windscreen smashed, significantly impairing the driver’s view.

Mrs Easterbrook said the windscreen of the car had been “totally shattered, severely impeding the view”.

She added: “This is undoubtedly, incredibly bad, dangerous driving.”

The motorcyclist was taken to hospital but discharged the same day with minor injuries.

Larcombe also breached a conditional discharge given to him when he smashed down the door of the bedroom of his ex-wife.

Mitigating, Tom Ackworth said: “It is entirely down to luck that this court is not dealing with an extreme tragedy. Mr Larcombe knows that. In his own words he couldn’t live with himself if this had ended up with anyone losing their life.”

Mr Ackworth said Larcombe phoned police himself the next morning and that he was a “realistic prospect” for rehabilitation.

Judge Robert Pawson sentenced him to 10 months imprisonment and banned him from driving for 30 months.

He said: “The suggestion you thought you hit an animal, driving anywhere other than the continent of Africa is absurd.

“Your telephoning of the police, assuming the car was registered to you, you must have known what was coming to you.

“Driving for nine and a half miles with the car in that condition, knowing you dragged a motorcycle 400 metres, that is an example of the most serious offence.

“There was a van coming which hit the motorcycle and left the road, causing a fire.

“Who knows what might have happened to the motorcyclist, he was extremely lucky.

“What you are most concerned about is yourself. The only appropriate punishment is immediate custody.”