North East Wales

Wrexham drink-driver Jonathan Jones's high speed chase

A drink-driver drove the wrong way down a north Wales dual carriageway during a "dangerous, high speed" police chase, a court has heard.

A judge at Mold Crown Court told Jonathan Lee Jones, 31, of Brynteg, Wrexham, it was a miracle no-one had been killed or seriously injured.

Jones, more than twice the drink drive limit, admitted dangerous and drink-driving near Wrexham on 12 February.

He was banned for 18 months as part of a community sentence.

The court heard that Jones drove along the A541 Wrexham to Mold road in the wrong lane with the police following alongside in the correct lane.

Officers followed him through various villages around Wrexham in what was described as a dangerous high speed chase.

The court heard Jones had drunk eight pints of lager, was familiar with the local area and thought he could "lose" the police.

But the longer the chase went on the more scared he was of stopping, he said.

Jones had initially been pulled over by police near a supermarket car park, but when officers got out of their car to approach, he sped off at high speed, mainly through 30mph restricted areas.

The court was told he slid sideways into a roundabout forcing another vehicle to swerve, travelled on the wrong side of the road, and turned 180 degrees in the car several times as he accelerated hard in wet conditions.

Following the last spin, he drove towards Cefn-y-Bedd travelling about 300m (980ft) the wrong way down the dual carriageway.

Jones then braked sharply, span back 180 degrees and drove back along the A541 towards Gwersyllt in the correct lane.

The chase came to an end when one of the tyres punctured and Jones ran off near garages in Bryn Rhedyn.

'15 minutes of madness'

Jones received an "intensive alternative to custody" community sentence, in which he was also given 18 months supervision, told to attend a drink-impaired-driver's course, and ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work.

He was told he must also retake his driving test and was fined £500 with £300 costs.

Judge Dafydd Hughes told him: "Someone could have been killed or seriously injured so easily. You would then be facing a substantial prison sentence."

The judge said that he accepted that Jones had panicked but he had driven at speed in drink, often on the wrong side of the road, and ignored police requests to stop.

Jones, who registered a reading of 83 microgrammes of alcohol in his breath compared with the legal limit of 35, had two passengers in his car at the time and he did not think of their welfare, or that of other road users, said the judge.

Catherine Jagger, defending, said that the defendant had been drinking, he initially panicked and there then followed 15 minutes of madness.