A HIT and run driver has kept his licence after fleeing the scene of an accident in Old Town last month and abandoning his car as a write-off.

Matthew Mann, 42, of Jennings Street, pleaded guilty to failing to stop following a road traffic accident and failing to report the collision to police at Swindon Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The court heard how Mann had been on medication at the time and feared police would say he was not in a fit condition to drive so, assuming his car was damaged beyond repair, took his belongings before leaving the scene.

The accident occurred on July 20 at the junction of Kingshill Road, Okus Road and Bath Road with a black Mercedes after Mann drove straight over the mini roundabout at around 7pm.

Keith Bellinger, prosecuting, said: “The collision involved the vehicle being driven by Mr Mann, a silver Peugeot 307, and a black Mercedes driven by a woman along Okus Road.

“She said she believed there was enough time for her to negotiate the roundabout, but realised the silver car was travelling faster than she thought.

“She said the silver Peugeot did not follow the marked lines but went straight across the middle of the roundabout and collided with her vehicle.

“The force of the impact left both vehicles with significant front end damage.

“A witness heard the noise of the collision and went to see the two vehicles involved. A man was standing near the Peugeot who moved off from the scene.

“Police attended and identified the driver.

“He said he had been driving back from his partner’s address in Bath Road when the Mercedes pulled out in front of him.

“He panicked at that point because he was on medication and believed police would say he was not in a fit condition to drive.”

Sam Arif, defending, said: “My client says the Mercedes was travelling at speed and did not take into account his right of way.

“He says his mental state of mind is in a bad place at the moment.

“He is a student in year one at Oxford Brookes University where he is studying to be a mental health nurse.

“He has had on his shoulders a huge strain and has tried to reform his life significantly.”

Mann was fined £180, along with £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge, as well as having his licence endorsed with eight points.