Wales

Swansea learner driver led police on 85mph chase

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Media captionPolice footage shows Jason Athernought taking police on a high-speed chase

A learner driver led police on an 85mph chase so dangerous that they gave up their pursuit to protect the public.

Jason Athernought, 25, sped off when officers tried to pull him over and drove at "break-neck speeds" on the wrong side of the road.

Footage shows near misses with several cars and vans as he sped dangerously through a business park in Swansea.

Athernought was jailed for four months and banned from driving for two years at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday.

Prosecutor Ashanti-Jade Walton said Athernought, from Llansamlet in Swansea, was overtaking cars and "weaving in and out of traffic".

The court heard he drove so dangerously that an advanced police driver gave up the chase for safety reasons.

'Speed off the scale'

Athernought was eventually caught when he abandoned the Seat Ibiza and patrolling police officers spotted him nearby.

Judge Paul Thomas QC heard he had taken the car without his girlfriend's permission and only had a provisional licence.

Athernought had previously pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

"You put members of the public in grave risk of serious injury or even death. You had no regard for any other road user, be they pedestrians, cyclists or drivers," Judge Thomas told him.

"The speed was off the scale of reckless and you compounded that by driving the wrong way around roundabouts."

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