North East Wales

A55 wrong way driver Jamie Jones spared jail for police chase

A section of the A55 Image copyright Google
Image caption Police cars and a helicopter were involved in the pursuit

A drink and drug driver who tried to evade police by driving 70mph the wrong way down a dual carriageway in north Wales has been spared jail.

For 45 minutes Jamie Jones, 28, led police on a 16-mile (25km) chase from St Asaph, Denbighshire, and then along the nearby A55 on 30 July.

He admitted dangerous driving and other charges at Mold Crown Court.

Jones from Froncysyllte, near Wrexham, was given a 14 month prison sentence suspended for two years.

The court heard he travelled at 70mph the wrong way down the A55, reached speeds of 90mph, went around a roundabout the wrong way and twice managed to avoid a police stinger device.

The chase only came to an end when Jones' silver Volkswagen Polo broke down.

'Shocking case'

Jones admitted dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen, failing to stop, no driving licence and no insurance.

The court was told Jones had a poor record. He had just been released from prison and had previously been disqualified from driving three times.

Judge Niclas Parry said: "This was a shocking case of dangerous driving over a significant distance."

But he decided the public would be better protected if Jones could tackle his alcohol and cocaine problems.

Judge Parry said it was "a leap of faith" by the court and it was up to the defendant to take his chance.

As well as the suspended prison term, the judge placed him on rehabilitation and sent him on a drugs course with monthly court reviews.

He was banned from driving for two and a half years and ordered to take an extended driving test.