A BANNED driver smashed into a Renfrew cemetery while high on crack cocaine – leaving a woman trapped in the car and needing 127 stitches in her face.

David Whitelaw, 39, had not slept for days when he lost control of the car he was driving after careering along the road from Glasgow to Paisley at breakneck speeds in the middle of the afternoon.

Whitelaw, who also goes by the name David Macmonagle, ran red lights and swerved through traffic as he drove Amanda Ryan and two other passengers back to Paisley after going to Glasgow to buy drugs.

He then crashed in to the gates of Arkleston Cemetery, in Renfrew, crushing his VW Beetle in to the stonework, crumpling the bonnet and causing oil to spill all over the road.

The details emerged when Whitelaw appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court to admit his guilt over the offences.

He pleaded guilty to causing serious injury to the woman, in breach of Section 1A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, by driving dangerously while under the influence of drugs.

Whitelaw had earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while disqualified.

Whitelaw had met Ms Ryan at Renfrewshire Drug Service, in Paisley’s Back Sneddon Street, on May 2 this year and the pair began spoke about getting drugs.

Procurator Fiscal Depute Alan Parfery said Whitelaw was taking passengers Ms Ryan, 43, Nicola Kerr, 39, and David Brown, 29, to Glasgow to collect drugs.

The prosecutor explained how the passengers said Whitelaw had complained of being tired whilst driving “chaotically” and “dangerously”, before smashing into stone pillars outside the Renfrew cemetery, wrecking the stonework and badly damaging the VW Beetle he was driving.

The three passengers had been begging Whitelaw to slow down throughout the terrifying episode.

The inside of the car was covered in the passengers’ blood and Ms Ryan was left trapped in the car, having to be cut free by firemen.

Mr Parfery told the court: “Amanda Ryan had a complex laceration across her forehead, over her eye area, down to her left cheek. The laceration required surgery and over 100 stitches, resulting in permanent disfigurement.

“The passengers in the vehicle sustained physical injuries, as narrated, but have clearly, also, experienced psychological trauma as a result of that journey.”

Ms Ryan also suffered broken ribs and soft tissue damage, while Ms Kerr needed two stitches to her chin and suffered a hernia to her spin and soft tissue damage.

Mr Brown sustained a cut above his eye, which needed four stitches, and also suffered soft tissue damage.

After hearing that Whitelaw had been given a six-year driving ban on May 6, 2011, which was due to expire four days after the crash and that he had got “mixed up” and thought his ban was over, Sheriff Linda Smith jailed him for the offences.

She jailed Whitelaw, of George Street, Paisley, for 33 months, backdated to June 30, when he was first remanded in custody, reduced from 44 months, as he admitted his guilt, and banned him from driving for five years for his seventh conviction for driving while disqualified.