A SERIAL criminal with an “appalling” record who took off in a car belonging to a care services company is behind bars again.

Daniel Hawkes, aged 29, from Pontypool, who had 36 previous convictions for 82 offences, was back in court to face seven more charges.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins told him he was under the delusion he could commit offences with “impunity”.

Newport Crown Court heard how Hawkes, of no fixed abode, racked up no less than nine separate driving whilst disqualified offences in the last two years.

Prosecutor Peter Donnison said Hawkes’ latest crime spree started on June 27.

The defendant made off without paying £15 after filling up a Volkswagen Golf at the pumps of a Shell garage on Cwmbran’s Henllys Way.

When staff viewed the CCTV before contacting the police, they recognised him.


He also, as a consequence, was caught committing the offences of driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

Two days later, Mr Donnison told the court, Hawkes took a Toyota Aygo without the owners’ consent.

The car belonged to Q Care in Pontypool and was fitted with a tracking device.

This was significant, Judge Jenkins heard, because it linked Hawkes to a commercial burglary he carried out on June 30 at Sedbury Trading Estate in Gloucestershire.

Again the defendant was caught on camera, this time prising open a storage container with a crowbar to steal £400 worth of electrical cables.

He placed his loot in the boot of the Aygo before driving off.

Hawkes was again charged with driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance.

The defendant, who committed the offences after being released from prison on licence, pleaded guilty to all charges.

Mr Donnison said Hawkes’ rap sheet, as well as numerous driving offences, also included “drugs matters”, theft, burglary, public disorder and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Stephen Thomas, mitigating, said his client’s latest crimes were “unsophisticated” and that the defendant had suffered from drug addiction.

Judge Jenkins jailed Hawkes for 18 months and banned him from driving for three years and nine months.

When he asked the defendant, who appeared via video link from Cardiff Prison, if he understood the sentence, he replied: “It is what it is, isn’t it?”