A TEENAGER student whose dangerous driving cost a female passenger her left leg has been locked up for four years.

Lewis Kirk, 19, lost control while driving 28-year-old Nicola Drysdale home from an all-night party after getting high on ecstasy.

Speeding through Bannockburn, he lost control of the Mitsubishi Lancer he was driving, swerved repeatedly across the carriageway onto the wrong side of the road, struck a kerb, and crashed head-on with an oncoming Seat Altea.

Falkirk Sheriff Court was told that all the nerves controlling Miss Drysdale's leg were severed from her spinal cord by the impact, and the limb had to be amputated above the knee six weeks later. She also suffered back injuries.

A second passenger in Kirk's car, George Smith, 21, suffered 11 broke ribs and a punctured lung.

Kirk, of Queen Street, Bannockburn, Stirlingshire, pleaded guilty to causing injury by dangerous driving while his ability was impaired by the ingestion of controlled drugs.

Allegations that he had ignored warnings to slow down, repeatedly sounded his horn at pedestrians, and tailgated other drivers, were dropped by the prosecution.

The incident occurred on April 3 last year.

Virgil Crawford, defending, said Kirk had been asked to give Miss Drysdale and Mr Smith a lift home, and had foolishly agreed.

Mr Crawford said Kirk "fully accepts his responsibility" for the incident, and fully appreciated the effect his actions would have on Ms Drysdale's future life.

The solicitor added that Kirk, at college studying cookery, had since turned his life around, had changed his group of friends, and no longer took drugs.

Sheriff Craig Caldwell banned Kirk from driving for 10 years, in addition to the four year sentence of detention in a Young Offenders' Institution.

Road Policing Unit Inspector for Forth Valley, Andrew Thomson, said after the case: "This collision has had serious life changing consequences for both Lewis Kirk and his passenger.

"This sentence demonstrates that this type of driving without consideration of the consequences is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"I would hope that this custodial sentence will act as a deterrent to those who put others at risk by driving dangerously on our roads and would urge all young drivers to understand the risks involved when they sit behind the wheel."