AN armed dangerous driver who deliberately veered into oncoming traffic while making his way along Newport’s George Street Bridge has been jailed.

Tony Riviere caused other cars to take “evasive action” while at the wheel of his silver Ford Focus, prosecutor Bethan Evans said.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how the 48-year-old defendant, formerly of Corporation Road, Newport, also brandished a knife when confronted by police.

Miss Evans said Tony Riviere was spotted by a plain clothes officer in the Pill area talking to some men before he drove off at speed.

The defendant was followed where he was witnessed travelling “slowly”, veering into traffic, running two red lights and blocking the road at one point.


His erratic journey took him through Lower Dock Street and George Street – along the George Street Bridge – before he stopped in Corporation Road.

When he was approached by the plain clothes officer, he pulled out a knife and accused him of trying to rob him.

Miss Evans said: “The defendant said he was very rich and successful and had inherited a large amount of money since his grandmother had passed away.

“He said there were people who wanted to steal from him. He also admitted he had a £10 heroin habit.”

The court heard defendant said there were people trying to take him to Barry to make money out of him.

Riviere pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, having a blade or pointed article in a public place and possessing heroin on the night of February 23, 2018.

He has, Miss Evans revealed, 23 previous convictions for 50 offences, the majority being for “dishonesty” – including burglary.

Julia Cox, mitigating, admitted her client’s driving had been “terrible” but said he was suffering from mental health issues at the time which were “un-medicated”.

She added: “He was paranoid and panicked. He didn’t brandish the knife in a threatening manner.

“He wishes to express his sincere remorse. This was out of character.”

Judge Michael Fitton QC told Riviere he had “deliberately veered towards traffic” and said an immediate prison sentence was inevitable.

He jailed the defendant for a total of nine months.

Riviere was banned from driving for 96 weeks, told he must sit an extended retest and ordered to pay a victim surcharge upon his release from custody.