North East Wales

Connor Carl Bather sentenced for driving 'like a maniac'

A man who drove "like a maniac" the wrong way down a dual carriageway with no lights on at night to escape police has been given a year's youth custody.

Connor Carl Bather, 20, had earlier assaulted a stranger at a petrol station in Flintshire and later hit a police officer who called at his home.

Bather, of Bagillt, Flintshire, admitted dangerous driving and assault at Mold Crown Court.

He was also banned from driving for three years and must take a re-test.

The judge, Mr Recorder Wyn Lloyd Jones, said Bather did not seem to have any concept of what was involved in proper and safe driving on the roads.

He said: "This is exactly the sort of driving that leads to misery for many families up and down the country when loved ones are killed by someone driving like a maniac, like you."

The court heard how Bather, who suffers from panic attacks, assaulted and threatened a man of around his age at a filling station in Holywell in the early hours of 13 January.

Aggressive

He told the man: "I know where you live in Caerwys. I will burn your house down. You are dead."

The man's girlfriend alerted police who spotted Bather travelling towards Greenfield.

They followed him at a safe distance but he sped away through Bagillt at an estimated 60mph, through a 30mph zone, with his lights off.

John Philpotts, prosecuting, said Bather then drove through a no-entry area along a slip road and went down the wrong side of a dual carriageway.

Police later went to his home but he did not answer the door. When an officer entered the property, Bather became aggressive, pushing the officer against a wall and then onto the floor.

Myles Wilson, defending, said his client had a previously diagnosed panic attack condition and was medicated for depression and anxiety.

He said it was a genuine condition which had clearly contributed to his client's offending that night when the situation escalated out of control.

Mr Wilson said Bather had had been having a bad week, had various problems and "the wheel certainly came off that night".

The judge rejected calls for a suspended sentence saying that while Bather drove the wrong way for only one-tenth of a mile (0.16 km), it was very dangerous.

He said the defendant had assaulted a stranger who was minding his own business, he had made worrying threats, and then when followed by police indulged in dangerous driving.