THE learner driver who caused a baby to be thrown into the air in the terrifying B&M car park collision was behind the wheel of her own mobility vehicle – despite having never passed her test.

Mandy Young — who has been branded a ‘menace’ by a sheriff — was granted the car in her own name then ploughed into a mother and children with such force that the seven-month-old tot was hurled skywards over the top of her officially sanctioned vehicle.

But despite the horrific out-of-control smash — which also left a deeply traumatised eight-year-old girl in crutches — Young, 52, was not prosecuted for dangerous driving, which carries the prospect of prison.

The Crown Office decided to secure a conviction for careless driving in a move which has been questioned by Sheriff Thomas Ward and slammed as ‘appalling’ by the mum of the children, who was also caught up in the mayhem.

Now Sheriff Ward has queried why Young — who has a number of convictions for driving without insurance — was allowed to get a mobility car in the first place.

He asked: “How did she manage this without being a qualified driver, and was the car in her name?”

Young’s lawyer, Edel McGinty, confirmed that the vehicle was in Young’s name.

The baffled sheriff responded: “She has no licence yet they give her a mobility car.”

Miss McGinty, of Westcourts Litigation, replied: “Her husband also has a disability and he predominantly drove the car.”

However, Young — who has only ever held a provisional licence — was driving the vehicle on her own when she lost all control of it within the car park of Greenock’s B&M store on February 2 2015.

The town’s court heard previously how her foot was ‘frozen’ to the accelerator as she smashed into a trolley which was carrying the baby in a car seat.

The infant’s mum and sister were left pinned against a pallet as Young’s car shot off and struck several pillars before smashing through a wall above a row of bus stops.

It took Young more than two years to finally plead guilty, having previously insisted that she’d done nothing wrong and having warrants issued for her arrest over a string of court no-shows.

The baby’s mother told the Telegraph last month: “It’s an absolute miracle that my baby survived. For a second I thought I had lost two of my children in a blinking of an eye.”

She also branded the careless driving charge ‘appalling’ and said she felt ‘let down’.

Sheriff Ward hinted that he would have been considering jailing jobless Young had she been convicted of dangerous driving, and he declared that the reduced charge had left him limited in his sentencing power.

The sheriff told her: “I am compromised in what I can do to you because you have pleaded guilty to a careless driving offence, and that does not contain within it the possibility of a prison sentence.

“However, what you did that day you did because effectively you could not drive.

“You were out that day, in a mobility car, and you didn’t have a licence to drive it.

“You caused what can only be described as mayhem, and it is clear to me that you could have killed someone.”

The sheriff added: “I am told that you have other convictions for not having insurance.

“You, and people like you, are the reason why people have to pay increased premiums.”

Young, whose address was not given in court, was banned from the roads for three years and fined £750.

A Crown Office spokesman said: “The decision as to the appropriate charge was made after careful consideration of the available facts and circumstances of the case, and the appropriate law, by an experienced prosecutor.”