A MOTORIST drove at speeds of 85 mph around Blackwood as he was chased by police before leaving his vehicle and fleeing on foot, a court heard.

David Jones performed a handbrake turn and overtook another car as he tried to escape in his Proton from officers who had spotted him driving erratically.

After being caught, the 29- year-old, who had previously been banned from driving on two occasions, said he’d had a drink and fled as he didn’t want to be banned again, the court heard.

Jones narrowly escaped jail at Newport Crown Court, where Judge Rhys Rowlands suspended an eight-month sentence for drink driving.

Prosecutor Anthony Trigg said officers spotted him driving on the A4049, Blackwood bypass at 55mph on the evening of Thursday, July 26.

On seeing their police car, he tried to pull away, upping his speed to 85mph and overtaking another car, causing it to swerve.

At the Crown roundabout, Jones “swerved violently”

and did a handbrake turn on to Summerfield Hall Lane in an bid to escape the police.

Mr Trigg said he then reached speeds of over 60mph in 30mph residential areas around Hengoed Avenue and Gelligaer Road, before stopping abruptly on a grassed area.

He then left the keys in the car, fleeing on foot and trying to climb over the fence of a residential property before he was arrested.

Mr Trigg said: “He told officers that he knew he should have stopped, but he’d had a drink and didn’t want to get banned again.”

Jones was banned in August 2007 for excess alcohol and aggravated vehicle taking and again for 18 months in October 2008 for driving while disqualified.

Defence barrister Hash Salman said: “He has trouble dealing with stressful situations.

It was born out of blind stupidity and panic.”

Jones, of Wood Street, Bargoed, pleaded guilty to four offences. Judge Rowlands sentenced him to concurrent terms of eight months for drink-driving and four months for failing to provide a breath specimen, suspended for two years.

There were no separate sentences for driving with no insurance and failing to stop, while he was ordered to undertake 100 hours unpaid work and banned from driving for three years.