A JUDGE has urged a Newport man to change his ways, after jailing him for causing a police pursuit and a series of car crashes in the city.

Jamie Garwood smashed into a parked car, and mounted the kerb to avoid an oncoming ambulance, as he careered around the Pill area of Newport in a car he had taken without consent.

The 31-year-old was eventually apprehended in the neighbourhood's Asda supermarket, where officers found him "smelling strongly of intoxicants".

The hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday was told Garwood had only been released from prison on licence two days earlier.


Garwood, of no fixed abode, admitted at an earlier court appearance one charge each of aggravated vehicle taking, driving with no insurance, driving with no licence, and failing to provide a specimen.

CCTV footage showing Jamie Garwood (grey VW) crashing into cars in Commercial Road, Newport. Scroll down for another angle. Video: Crown Prosecution Service

The offences took place on September 3.

Nik Strobl, prosecuting, said Garwood committed the offences in a grey Volkswagen Golf he had taken without the owner's knowledge or consent.

Shortly after 3.30pm, Garwood drove the car to Sandpiper Way, Duffryn, where a witness described him as "heavily intoxicated, aggressive and angry".

Garwood became involved in an altercation with a motorcyclist, and then crashed into an orange Suzuki Swift before driving off, Mr Strobl said.

Then, Garwood was spotted by a police patrol car near the junction of Commercial Road and Bolt Street, Pill. As the police pulled up behind the Volkswagen, Garwood "erratically moved into the middle of the road and drove off at speed".

Officers began to pursue him but abandoned their efforts almost immediately, given the time of day and the built-up area.

Garwood then returned to Commercial Road at 4.05pm, swerving around and hitting an oncoming car, crashing into a parked car, and mounting the kerb to avoid an ambulance.

Another angle of the Commercial Road incident. Video: Crown Prosecution Service

After being arrested, Garwood obstructed officers' efforts to obtain a breath sample, Mr Strobl added. One brief sample showed Garwood had 81 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

Julia Cox, defending, said Garwood "does not seek to excuse his behaviour" but had just been released from prison and discovered his long-term relationship was over.

She said Garwood had a disruptive childhood following family bereavements and had used alcohol as an "emotional crutch when things were difficult".

She added: "He turned to alcohol on that day. He acknowledges the events were stupid and he shouldn't have acted in the way he did."

The judge, Recorder Sean Bradley, said Garwood had 41 previous convictions for 71 offences.

Jailing him for a total of eight months, he told Garwood: "I wish you well in trying to sort out your difficulties with alcohol, and hope when you are released from prison this time, you will stay out of trouble".

Garwood was also banned from driving for two years and four months, and must pass an extended re-test if he is to drive again.