A DANGEROUS driver who risked the lives of pubgoers and pursuing police officers during a high speed chase, has been jailed.

Daniel Cross, aged 25, of Pontypool, raced at more than twice the legal limit and on the wrong side of the road.

Prosecutor Nigel Fryer said the defendant sped past the Carpenters Arms when customers were outside the Coed-y-Paen pub on a busy Saturday evening in January 2019.

Cross was driving a silver Vauxhall Corsa belonging to his then partner and a police check found the car was uninsured.


Mr Fryer said the defendant refused to stop when officers put on their blue flashing lights and he drove at 73mph in a 30mph zone and took one roundabout by going around it the wrong way in wet and difficult driving conditions.

He told Newport Crown Court: “When he drove past the Carpenters Arms, numerous people were coming out of the pub and he didn’t slow down.

“The defendant then misjudged a bend and crashed into a hedge.”

Cross was also being sentenced for handling stolen goods after he was found with an Apple Mac laptop belonging to a church minister that was taken in a break-in last March.

He was also caught with four alloy wheels and a car battery pinched during a burglary at Brunswick Court.

Cross was later found to have a small black lock knife on a key ring when he was stopped last September.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, two counts of handling stolen goods, possessing a bladed article and driving with no insurance.

Owen Williams, mitigating, said his client had admitted the offences at the earliest possible opportunity.

Judge Richard Williams told Cross: “This was a deliberate piece of dangerous driving that was bordering on the suicidal.

“You put road users at risk serious injury or death that day. It was only by sheer good luck that the only person injured was you when you drove into a hedge.

“The people outside the Carpenters Arms must have been absolutely terrified when you passed at an inappropriate and dangerous speed.

“You put at risk the lives of the police officers pursuing you. You can’t drive like that and expect to maintain your liberty.”

Cross, of Upland Drive, Trevethin, was jailed for a total of 14 months and banned from the roads for three years and seven months.

The defendant must sit an extended driving test and pay a victim surcharge upon his release from custody.

Gwent Police were heavily criticised by the judge who slammed them for taking a year to bring the dangerous driving case to court.

When he asked the prosecutor for the reason behind the delay, he was told that the defendant had been released under investigation.

The judge replied: “What did they need to investigate? He was caught red-handed. What do they do in difficult cases?

He added that whilst he was released under investigation, Cross went on to commit more offences.

Judge Williams said: “I would like an explanation from Heddlu Gwent Police. The delay in this case is inexplicable and is to be explored.”

He demanded that the force supply him with answers.

In 2017, the rules on pre-charge bail changed, making it more difficult for police to keep suspects on bail beyond 28 days.

The released under investigation move followed criticism of people being kept on police bail for months or years without charge.