A SERIAL dangerous driver who led police on a high speed chase while over the limit with a cocaine by-product in his system is back behind bars.

Christopher Packwood sped at twice the limit on narrow 30mph roads, sometimes on the opposite side, and went the wrong way around a roundabout during the five-minute pursuit.

Richard Ace, prosecuting, told Newport Crown Court how the 38-year-old had three previous convictions for dangerous driving, 15 for driving whilst disqualified and three for driving with excess alcohol.

Judge Christopher Vosper QC heard how Packwood, from Abertillery, had only just been released from prison after being locked up for driving whilst disqualified in February.

Mr Ace said that his latest offences took place in the early hours of the morning of Saturday, December 29 last year.

Packwood was spotted by a police officer at around 2am in an unmarked BMW when the defendant was driving a Volkswagen Golf on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road in Brynmawr.

After a computer check confirmed that the vehicle had no registered keeper or insurance, he followed the car and flashed for it to stop.

Packwood “drove off at speed” on the “old road” from Brynmawr towards Gilwern before he hit a dead end and gave himself up.

The defendant, of Commercial Street, admitted dangerous driving, drug driving with a prescribed drug of benzoylecgonine, failing to stop, driving with no insurance and driving whilst disqualified.

Jamie Campbell, for father Packwood, said: “The best mitigation is the early guilty pleas, entered at the first opportunity.

“There is little I can say in mitigation. It wasn’t his vehicle. A friend asked him to drive him home and he succumbed to temptation.

“He panicked and is deeply regretful. He is genuinely remorseful.”

Mr Campbell added: “He has been in and out of custody since he was 18. He wants the cycle to stop and he has the motivation to do that.”

Sentencing Packwood, Judge Vosper told him it was “fortunate” there were no other vehicles on the road at the time of the chase.

He added: “Had there been, there would have been a significant risk of a collision.”

The defendant was jailed for 12 months and banned from driving for two years and ordered to sit an extended test.