A prison-transport officer fell asleep at the wheel and crashed a liveried van while driving two inmates to a work placement.
Adeel Rehman, 32, will now be carrying out his own unpaid work after he admitted dangerous driving.
Prosecutor David Ward told York Crown Court the accident occurred just after 9am on May 25 when Rehman was driving a “Her Majesty’s prison-transporter vehicle” on Tadcaster Road in York.
He was taking two inmates from Askham Grange open prison to a work placement in York when he suddenly slumped to his side, took his hands off the wheel and lost control of the vehicle, which drifted across the road towards oncoming traffic and crashed into a small white car.
“Both vehicles ended up off the road following the collision,” added Mr Ward.
The white car, which was driven by a young woman, ended up on its roof and the prison van was “severely” damaged.
Mr Ward said that Rehman’s colleague, who was in the front passenger seat, had noticed him yawning and then slumping to the side, his hands off the wheel, after he fell asleep.
Following the collision, she “crawled out of the vehicle as fast as she could” and told him to call an ambulance.
Police arrived at the scene where the victim had suffered only a minor cut to her chin despite her car having been upturned.
The prison van was 45 metres further down the road.
Rehman, of Garfield Avenue, Bradford, told officers he had been tired before setting off as he was working long shifts with early starts.
The victim said the accident happened on the anniversary of her younger sister’s death and she was due to complete a house sale that day.
She said she wouldn’t be seeking compensation as she “had enough on her plate”.
Defence barrister Andrew Dallas said Rehman was a hard-working man with financial pressures who was the sole breadwinner for his family.
He said that Rehman, who was the main carer for his mother, had a bad night’s sleep on the eve of the accident “and that is why he was a tired worker on this morning”.
“He immediately acknowledged that he had effectively fallen asleep or lost concentration through fatigue,” added Mr Dallas.
He said Rehman had been in a “state of anxiety” awaiting his appearance at the crown court and had sought help from his doctor.
He had had to look for new work since the offence and currently had a job offer as a prison officer in Bradford.
Rehman, who was “extremely apologetic” to police in interview, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and appeared for sentence today.
Judge Simon Hickey told him: “You had a responsible job transporting prisoners and they were in your care and they obviously trusted you not to be tried. You didn’t realise how tired you were.”
He added, however, that Rehman was a hard-working man of “impeccable character” and that it was a “tragedy” he found himself at the Crown Court.
Rehman was given an 18-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and given a 12-month driving ban.