A DAD-of-one rammed his car into two people out celebrating on Christmas Eve during a drunken rampage.

Lee Clarke then reversed his vehicle before accelerating onto a footpath towards his victims again, hitting them a second time.

Sophia Meakin-Hogg and Skye Bullen were left fearing for their lives during the attack, which took place outside of Revival Nightclub in Rawtenstall in 2019.

During sentencing at Burnley Crown Court it was heard how Clarke had been drinking in the Bees Knees when his two victims entered, immediately catching his attention.

A confrontation took place between Mr Bullen and the group Clarke was in resulting in both men and their partners being ejected from the bar.

During the incident, Clarke was said to have put his arm around Mr Bullen's neck while becoming increasingly aggressive towards him.

But rather than leave things there, Clarke and his girlfriend got into his Volkswagen Golf, drunk, and went looking for Ms Meakin-Hogg and Mr Bullen.

Prosecutor Matthew Conway said: “The victims made their way up a footpath towards Revival nightclub and the defendant drove up Bacup Road behind them with his headlights off, in what we call an attempt to conceal himself.

“He pulled up alongside them and deliberately accelerated onto the pavement, knocking both victims to the ground.

“He reversed and accelerated forward again before reversing at speed while both victims were beside the vehicle, causing Ms Meakin-Hogg to tumble under the car door.”

The court heard how bouncers at Revival attempted to stop the car from driving away after the incident, but Clarke managed to escape.

Both victims received extensive trauma, including bumps and cuts to their heads and bruising to their bodies.

Ms Meakin-Hogg, who read out a victim impact statement in court, said her life had changed forever at the hands of Clarke, stating she had been left anxious and scared following the attack.

Clarke, of Bacup Road, was later arrested on January 1 after handing himself in to police following an appeal. He claimed he had not been driving the car.

The defendant was released on police bail before he offended again in May 2020, this time leading officers on a high-speed pursuit from Rossendale to Burnley. At times Clarke reached speeds to up to 90mph, managing to evade officers. Mr Conway said that he was arrested for that offence in June, when he told officers he had 'panicked' when they asked him to pull over, causing him to speed off. He was again bailed.

However Clarke was in trouble with yet again come August after he assaulted the mother of his child by dragging her out of her home. He was remanded into custody in September and has been there since.

In defence it was heard how the defendant had been clean of drugs for the first time in many years since he had been in custody, giving him much time to reflect over what he had done.

Clarke was said to be ‘deeply sorry’ for his crimes and acknowledged the fact he had ruined the lives of many people with his behaviour.

Jailing him for a total of six-and-a-half years, Judge Sara Dodd said: “You drove your car deliberately at two people for no good reason at all. You had some disagreement with Mr Bullen over something that was nothing to do with you. It was put on your behalf that you ‘lost the plot’.

“You used your vehicle as a weapon. It was an offence on a public street late at night when the pubs were emptying. It was Christmas Eve and there is a very significant ongoing effect on miss Meakin-Hogg.”