A disqualified driver who failed to stop for police, tried to blind officers in pursuit with strobe lights and threw items in front of their car to evade arrest has been jailed.
Shaun Davies, of Blackwood in Gwent, put the lives of officers and other road users at risk when he drove erratically through the Lampeter area – speeding around blind bends and turning his headlights off.
Officers from the Dyfed-Powys Police Road Safety Unit describe it as a miracle that nobody was not seriously injured or killed as a result of the 31-year-old’s reckless driving.
The incident took place during the early hours of Sunday, November 29, when Dyfed-Powys Police officers were made aware of a man who was driving despite being disqualified.
Roads policing officers made their way towards the Lampeter area, where the car had been seen, catching up with it on the A40 just before Llandovery.
Despite stopping for an officer on a single track road, the driver then restarted his engine and made off back towards Llandovery.
From this point, he began driving dangerously and erratically.
PC Oliver West said: “Davies contravened countless sets of solid white lines, both single and double, turned his headlights off numerous times despite roads being in complete darkness, and drove on the wrong side of the carriageway around bends with restricted or no view at speeds of around 80mph.
“He was driving in an outright dangerous manner, in an obvious attempt to stop police pursuing him.
“At times, a strobe light was shone towards the police vehicle, seemingly trying to blind the officer driving. This was an exceptionally dangerous course of action to take and shows his determination to get away from police.”
The Peugeot was driven in a loop through the village of Llanwrda, and back onto the A40. At this point, objects including tools and potatoes were thrown from the car towards the police vehicle.
Officers later found a bag of potatoes in the front of the car, and nuts and bolts strewn along the road.
“Driving through residential areas at 70mph with no headlights on, Davies posed a huge risk to other road users who might not have seen him coming,” PC West said.
“He drove through a no entry sign, and did not put his headlights on until he reached an unlit stretch of road.”
A stinger was deployed to stop the car, however Davies continued to drive for half a mile before slowing down, then fled from the vehicle.
He was found 20m away, hiding in brambles.
Davies was arrested at the roadside and later charged with dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop, driving with no insurance, causing a danger to road users and possession of class B drug amphetamine.
He admitted the charges at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court on Monday, November 30 and was committed to Swansea Crown Court for sentencing on December 14.
He was jailed for 18 months, disqualified from driving for three years and nine months, and must pay a victim surcharge of £156.
Sergeant Rich Lucas, from Carmarthenshire Roads Policing unit said: “This was a particularly dangerous incident that my officers were subjected to. It was clear that the driver and occupants had no intention of stopping and were using tactics that not only put members of the public at risk but also the officer by the manner of driving along with throwing items at the police vehicle and attempting to blind the officer by use of a strong light being shone in their face.
“The location of this incident was mostly in rural areas, and these type of roads pose more dangers due to the sharp bends and limited street lighting.
“It was a miracle how anyone was not seriously injured or killed.
“The pursuing officer’s advanced driving skills allowed him to maintain constant observations whereby a stinger was eventually deployed by other traffic units which ended the pursuit.”
Roads Policing Inspector Andy Williams added: “This was a co-ordinated effort by the close knit Roads Policing Unit across Dyfed-Powys to deny criminals the use of the roads with determination and teamwork during what was a dangerous and fast-moving incident.
“The sentence imposed by the court sends a clear message that putting the public at risk in this way will not be tolerated.”