A BUSINESSMAN was so drunk he didn’t realise he was being chased by a police car before crashing into a taxi carrying passengers and causing injuries to the driver.

Danish Iftikhar had downed around seven pints of lager and a shot at a Christmas works party before deciding to get behind the wheel.

The 33-year-old, from Newport, was spotted by an officer in a marked police car as he turned into the city’s Cedar Road just after midnight on December 8, 2018.

Prosecutor Andrew Kendall told Cardiff Crown Court how Iftikhar nearly collided with a different cab and parked cars as he drove his Volkswagen erratically through Chepstow Road and Clarence Place.

The police officer put on his flashing blue lights but Iftikhar continued to drive on before he crashed into the taxi on Rodney Road.

Mr Kendall told Judge Nicola Jones how the cabbie had customers in his vehicle which was damaged.

The driver suffered injuries to his neck, shoulder and ribs and felt “dazed after a nasty jolt”.


Other officers had been radioed during the pursuit and the defendant was reported to have a “glazed expression and was slurring his words”.

Iftikhar, of Rugby Road, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving without insurance.

He had previous convictions for common assault and criminal damage.

Matthew Roberts, mitigating, said his client had been at a Christmas celebration party only a mile from where he lived.

His barrister said that when he couldn’t get hold of a taxi, he decided to drive home.

Mr Roberts told the court: “He made a foolish decision which he is now paying a very high price for.

“The defendant is very remorseful and deeply ashamed of the position he has put himself in.”

The judge was told that Iftikhar’s wife is a full-time civil servant and he is the main carer for the couple’s two children.

Mr Roberts added that the defendant has started a company which repairs electrical faults on cars.

Judge Jones told Iftikhar: “You initially denied dangerous driving but you simply couldn’t remember because you were so drunk that night.

“You were in a police pursuit but you were so drunk, you didn’t realise you were being pursued.”

The judge told the defendant she was going to suspend his prison sentence because there was hope he could be rehabilitated and that he was the main carer for his children.

Iftikhar, who wept throughout the proceedings, was jailed for 12 months, suspended for 18 months.

He must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, was banned from driving for two years, must pay prosecution costs of £535 and a victim surcharge of £140.