A DANGEROUS driver with a “dreadful record” was jailed after he led police on a high-speed chase through a residential area in a stolen car.

Alex Slocombe, 23, drove on the wrong side of the road and overtook other vehicles during the pursuit in the Llantarnam area of Cwmbran.

He abandoned the stolen Ford Fiesta and was arrested following a dramatic chase through residents’ gardens witnessed by stunned homeowners.

The officer’s body worn footage was played at Cardiff Crown Court.

Meirion Davies, prosecuting, said the defendant, of Keir Hardie Terrace, Llanhilleth, Abertillery, had already served time behind bars for previous driving offences.

He told Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke: “He has a history of bad driving and this is his sixth time before the court for the offence of dangerous driving.”

Slocombe was spotted by police on June 2 driving the Fiesta, valued around £9,000, which had false plates.

The vehicle had been stolen a few days earlier from outside a house in Cwmdare, near Aberdare.

Slocombe had passengers with him in the Fiesta during the car chase and he clipped the chasing police BMW and crashed into another vehicle.

Mr Davies added: “This was persistent and dangerous driving through a residential area.

“It wasn’t a short chase, it was a lengthy one.”

The defendant pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, dangerous driving and possession of cannabis.

Stephen Thomas, representing Slocombe, said: “His best mitigation is his guilty pleas.

“There was no attempt to injure any police officer and he did not drive at the police to try and escape.

“No police or members of the public were injured.

“The defendant is still a very young man.

“He knows serious injury could have been caused in this pursuit.”

Judge Lloyd-Clarke told Slocombe he had “dreadful previous convictions”.

She added: “Your driving created a substantial risk of danger. This was a deliberate attempt to evade the police.”

The defendant was jailed for 19 months and banned from driving for four years, nine months and two weeks.

The stolen Fiesta has been returned to its owner.