A DANGEROUS driver left an pedestrian scarred for life after running him over while “amusing himself” by doing laps of suburban streets.

Convicted drug dealer Sohail Ali, 19, took his father’s Ford Fiesta without his permission and raced around the Pill area of Newport on July 23 last year.

But as he reached the junction of Potter Street and Clarence Street, he ploughed into Sharoze Ali, prosecutor John Warren told Cardiff Crown Court.


His unsuspecting victim was knocked to the ground and left covered in blood before the defendant drove off without stopping to help him.

Mr Warren told the court that a witness said that it was "Dukes of Hazzard-style driving", a reference to a popular American TV show of the 1980s that featured high speed driving.

"The tyres were screaming loudly and it was as if they (the driver) were being chased. They were going really fast,” said Mr Warren.

The victim was taken to hospital where he needed stitches for a wound several inches long to the side of the face.

Ali later gave himself up to police and Mr Warren said: “He told officers in interview that it was an accident after he started doing laps around the Pill area.

“He felt a bang and his window cracked and he panicked. He accepted he was travelling far too fast.”

Ali, of Alice Street, Newport, admitted dangerous driving, causing actual bodily harm, aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance.

The prosecutor read out the complainant’s victim impact statement which said: “I now have a permanent scar from the top left of my forehead, running down past my ear which is six or seven inches long.

“I suffer constant headaches and I have difficulty sleeping at night. Since being run over, I have become depressed. I used to be confident and outgoing.”

Mr Warren told the court the defendant had one previous conviction which was for possessing cannabis with intent to supply in 2017, for which he received a referral order.

Darren Bishop, for Ali, said: “The defendant’s foolish and reckless actions resulted in a man being caused serious injury.”

He added that his client was a young father who was “immature”.

Mr Bishop told the court: “His greatest mitigation is his early guilty plea which was entered at the first opportunity.”

Judge Richard Williams told Ali: “You took your father’s car without permission and without insurance and while unqualified and you drove simply to amuse yourself and you amused yourself by doing, in your words, laps around a suburban area.”

He said: “You caused a significant injury. It was a serious wound to the left hand side of your victim’s face.”

The judge said he could spare sending Ali immediately into custody because there was a realistic prospect of his rehabilitation.

The defendant was sentenced to eight months in a young offender institution, suspended for 12 months.

He has to attend 19 sessions of a thinking skills programme and was banned from driving for three years and must sit an extended test.

Ali will also have to pay £200 costs and a £149 surcharge.