A motorist who has never passed a driving test sped through a coned-off area of roadworks as he tried to flee from police.

As startled workmen looked on Christopher John Brown almost smashed into an coming car then swerved across the carriageway and overtook a line of vehicles. When arrested he was found to be high on cannabis.

Police have described his behaviour as "completely reckless" and said it could have ended in tragedy.

Swansea Crown Court heard that at lunchtime on October 23 police in Milford Haven became aware of a BMW being driven at excessive speeds on the Mount housing estate.

Connor Evans, prosecuting, said police found Brown in his BMW car and signalled for him to stop but instead the defendant sped off.

The court heard that in Steynton Road the 32-year-old defendant ignored a "stop" sign at the entrance to a section of roadworks and narrowly avoided smashing into an oncoming car.

He then swerved into the coned-off area of road, where workers were busy laying new Tarmac, and sped away – overtaking a line of cars as he did so.

Mr Evans said because of the number of pedestrians and other vehicles around at the time police decided to end the pursuit.

Once away from the police Brown drove through nearby residential streets before turning into a cul-de-sac at speed, mounting the pavement, and smashing into a parked Skoda car causing almost £1,000 worth of damage. The court heard that shortly before the defendant entered the street children had been playing on the road.

Swansea Crown Court heard Christopher John Brown has never passed a driving test
Swansea Crown Court heard Christopher John Brown has never passed a driving test

Brown jumped from his car and hid behind other vehicles. The prosecutor said police were soon on the scene because members of the public who had seen Brown driving off from the roadworks were able to indicate to officers where he had gone.

When arrested Brown was found to be in possession of a bag of herbal cannabis.

Mr Evans said that due to the defendant's behaviour and the manner of his driving officers decided to perform a roadside drugs swab test. After initially refusing to comply Brown did so, telling police: "I'll tell you now, it's going to have weed in it." The test showed positive for cannabis.

Brown, of Meyler Crescent, Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, admittes dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving while unfit through drugs, driving without insurance, failing to stop for a police officer, and possession of cannabis.

The court heard he has 25 previous convictions for 33 offences, including six for driving while disqualified and one for dangerous driving. He has never passed a driving test.

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Dan Griffiths, for Brown, said the only real mitigation he could put forward on the defendant's behalf were his guilty pleas. He said it was fortunate nobody had been injured in the incident.

Judge Huw Rees told the defendant he had had an "appalling" record for driving while disqualified and shows a "complete disregard" for road traffic laws.

The judge sentenced him to a total of 14 months in prison while Brown was disqualified from driving for three years with the ban extended by seven months to take into account the period he will serve behind bars before he's released on licence.

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Speaking after the sentencing Dyfed-Powys Police roads policing officer PC Richard Mycroft said: "This was an incredibly dangerous pursuit, which saw the defendant drive into the path of oncoming vehicles at a set of temporary traffic lights and through a stop sign.

"This manner of driving is completely reckless, totally unacceptable, and could have had a tragic outcome. The number of lives Brown put in danger through driving into oncoming traffic, through roadworks, and into residential streets at speed is beyond comprehension."

He added: "We would like to thank members of the public for their assistance in tracing Brown on the day when we made the decision to end the pursuit. Their help was invaluable."