A MAN previously jailed for killing a girl whilst drink-driving failed to give a breathalyser test when he was suspected of being behind the wheel after swigging whisky.

But Stephen Kenneth Thomas avoided an immediate jail sentence after a judge blasted a Gwent Police officer’s explanation for the “unacceptable delay” in the case coming to court as “nonsense”.

The defendant was sent to prison for five years in 2008 and disqualified for six years for causing the death by careless driving of 15-year-old Kirsty Myerscough whilst under the influence of alcohol on a mountain road outside Tredegar.

He had been driving his modified Peugeot 106 Sport whilst almost twice the legal drink-drive limit with the teenager and another passenger in his car when he lost control and the vehicle went over a banking.

The three had been travelling back home in the early hours of the morning after failing to find a rave in the Trefil area.

Thomas, of William Street, Aberbargoed, was back in Cardiff Crown Court after pleading guilty to failing to provide a specimen, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and being in breach of a suspended jail sentence.

Jenny Yeo, prosecuting, said the 32-year-old was spotted with others in a Ford Transit van on Gelligaer Common in the early hours of last October.

She told Judge David Wynn Morgan: “The occupants had been drinking whisky and the defendant was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and taken to Newport Central police station.

“When he was asked to give a breath test, he failed to do so. He used his tongue to prevent the air going into the machine. His behaviour was erratic and aggressive.”

Mrs Yeo told the court about his 2008 conviction for causing death by careless driving and added that Thomas had been banned again from the roads in 2017 for 40 months for drug-driving.

She said his breach of a suspended jail sentence was for making a false representation to make a gain two years ago.

That related to him using a bank card to make two £300 cash withdrawals after it had been stolen in a burglary.

Thomas, represented by Kevin Seal, was told by Judge Wynn Morgan if the case had been dealt with “promptly” rather than the “unacceptable delay” of nearly a year, he would have been going straight into custody.

He had earlier described a police officer’s attempted explanation for the hold-up, which was presented to the court by Mrs Yeo, as “nonsense”.

The judge jailed Thomas for four months, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to attend a thinking skills programme.

The defendant was also banned from driving for a further two years.