Pair in police car chase had string of criminal convictions
TWO men involved in an early morning police chase where they drove on the wrong side of the road, on a pavement and even down stairs, have been jailed.
Robert Reynolds, 27, and his co-accused Craig Cullen, 27, were both in a Daewoo car and goaded police into following them.
Reynolds has seven convictions for taking vehicles, five for dangerous driving and 15 for driving while disqualified.
He admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle-taking and driving while disqualified and having no insurance.
Last month he stood trial accused of ram-raids at Comet and Staples stores in Swansea. He was found not guilty on one count and the jury at Swansea Crown Court failed to reach a verdict on the second.
The prosecution had alleged the Daewoo car had been used in both those burglaries. His co-accused, Craig Cullen, admitted a single charge of being carried in a vehicle knowing it to have been stolen.
He had four previous convictions involving taking motor cars, Swansea Crown Court heard.
At 3.15am on April 30 police saw the car being driven by Reynolds in Uplands, Swansea.
Specialist traffic officers followed the car on to Mansel Street where Reynolds began to speed up. He then made his way to Neath Road, where they watched him make a handbrake turn.
Patrick Griffiths, prosecuting, said: “It’s then that his driving got significantly worse”.
He said Reynolds, of Carmarthen Road, Fforestfach, drove “as fast as he could” and drove on the wrong side of the dual carriageway. As he approached Nantong Way, he mounted the pavement before driving the car down a set of steep stairs towards a nearby pond.
When the car was forced to stop, Reynolds, along with Cullen, 27, of Townhill Road, Mayhill, and a third man Carl Thomas, 36, of Mansel Road, Bonymaen, jumped out, before being arrested.
Thomas, who denies knowing he was being carried in a stolen car, will stand trial at a later date.
Dyfed Thomas, representing Reynolds, said that because of the time in the morning, the roads would have been quiet and no-one was injured. But he accepted: “It was a bad period of driving.”
“He never quibbled about his involvement in the driving. He accepts his dishonesty in getting in that car and driving it away in the way he did,” added Mr Thomas.
Andrew Evans, appearing for Cullen, said his client had got into the car minutes before the car chase. He admitted realising the car was stolen but not getting out of the car.
“He would like the opportunity of putting his offending past behind him sooner rather than later,” said Mr Evans.
Judge Keith Thomas, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, imposed 16-month terms on Reynolds for the offences of aggravated vehicle- taking and dangerous driving and another four-month sentence for driving while disqualified, all of which will run concurrently.
Reynolds was also banned from driving for two years.
“You were trying to provoke the police into chasing you because you gained some thrill or satisfaction from that and your previous convictions indicate you have previously driven dangerously when being chased by the police,” said the judge.
No separate penalty was imposed for having no insurance.
Cullen was given a 39-week sentence and disqualified from driving for 12 months.