A teenager got behind the wheel of his mum’s Mini after drinking and decided to show off to his friends.

Ethan Bull drove on the wrong side of the road with no headlights on and police called off the chase as it was too dangerous. When he was cautioned he replied: “I wasn’t driving.”

Cardiff Crown Court heard the incident happened on the evening of September 21 last year in Pontllanfraith. Nik Strobl, prosecuting, said Bull drove the Mini Cooper “at speed” out of a car park and on to Highfields Way on the wrong side of the road. He added: “He narrowly missed oncoming vehicles before speeding off down the road – still with no headlights on.”

One witness, who called the police, said she thought he was going to kill or seriously injure someone. Police pulled up behind the Mini in the Asda car park in Cliff Road in Blackwood and the driver sped off again.

Mr Strobl said officers signalled for him to stop but he made no attempt to slow down. He carried on along the wrong side of the road, ignoring traffic signals.

Police took the decision to stop the pursuit as it was “too dangerous”. They went to the address of the registered keeper and found the car outside.

The defendant came out and was told to provide a breath sample. He replied: “Why? I’ve just been sat in there listening to music.”

He did provide a sample which showed 79 milligrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. He replied to the caution: “I wasn’t driving.”

Bull was taken to Newport Central Police Station and a blood sample showed 127 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of blood – one and a half times over the limit.

He gave a “no comment” interview the following day and was charged by postal requisition on February 14.

Mr Strobl argued aggravating features included the fact the driving was in a built-up area, he was under the influence of alcohol, and had passengers in the car.

The court heard he was cautioned for assault in July last year while he was still a youth.

Bull, 18, from Twyn Gardens in Cefn Forest, admitted driving dangerously while under the influence of alcohol and without insurance.

Court stories you might have missed

Stephen Thomas, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. He accepted he was “showing off” to his friends but the pursuit was short.

Judge Daniel Williams made an 18-month community order requiring him to complete 120 hours of unpaid work and 19 sessions to address his thinking skills. 

He was disqualified from driving for 12 months and must pass an extended test. Bull was ordered to pay £420 in costs and a £90 victim surcharge.