A VICTIM has slammed the criminal justice system after the man who deliberately drove a car at him and nearly killed him walked free from court.

Alex Cook feared he was about to die as he was knocked on to the bonnet and held on to the vehicle’s windscreen wipers “for dear life”.

Ieuan Evans used a Ford Focus “as a weapon” against the petrol station manager who was trying to stop him getting away from his garage without paying for fuel.

South Wales Argus:

Alex Cook with his partner Jennifer and her daughter Jessica

Mr Cook called the suspended jail sentence handed out to the defendant “pathetic” and hit out at the Crown Prosecution Service and Gwent Police’s handling of the case.


Evans was told by a judge he could have killed his victim as he swerved the vehicle to try and get him off the car.

The terrifying incident at L J Cook and Sons in Brynmawr on September 23, 2019 was captured on CCTV and played during the sentencing hearing.

After the case was heard at Cardiff Crown Court, Mr Cook, 36, told the Argus of his anger at the punishment handed out to Evans.

He said: “I think the sentence is an absolute joke and the CPS’s handling of the case has been inept.

South Wales Argus: Alex Cook

Alex Cook

“I am lucky to be alive and I thought I was going to be dragged under the car.

“The whole incident was captured on CCTV so I can’t understand why it took so long to get to court.

“I think the police investigation was also pretty sluggish.

“The sentence is pathetic. It’s a disgrace.”

Judge Jeremy Jenkins criticised the CPS last month when they accepted Evans’ guilty plea to causing actual bodily harm rather than pursuing the far more serious charge of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He branded their decision a “disgrace”.

Judge Jenkins told Cardiff Crown Court: “The defendant drove off with him on the bonnet. He was holding on for dear life.

“I can’t understand this decision. He drove directly at him and he was hanging on for dear life.

“It’s a cop-out. It’s nonsense. It’s a disgrace.”

South Wales Argus:

A CCTV still of the terrifying attack

During the sentencing hearing this week, the court heard the defendant was acting suspiciously, filling cans in the boot of the Focus with fuel from a petrol pump.

Prosecutor Byron Broadstock said: “Mr Cook approached him and said, ‘Are you going to pay for that?’

“The defendant replied, ‘Yes. I’m going to get my money now.’

“He had filled the containers up with £54 worth of fuel. He then got into the driver’s side, closed the door and drove straight at him and hit him at speed.

“The victim was on the bonnet. He could feel his knee twist back and he felt he was going to go underneath the vehicle.

“He said he was holding on for his life. He was holding on to the windscreen wipers.

“Mr Cook felt the car swaying violently from left to right, no doubt in an attempt to dislodge him from the car.

“The defendant broke hard and, at one point, one of the windscreen wipers snapped and he held on to the grill of the bonnet.”

Mr Broadstock said Evans drove the Focus with Mr Cook on the bonnet for around 300 metres before he was able to roll off the vehicle.

He suffered soft tissue damage to his right hand and knee. Evans escaped without stopping.

Mr Broadstock added: “At no point did the defendant allow him the opportunity to get off.

“This was a sustained assault with the use of the vehicle as a weapon.

“Mr Cox was providing a service to the public.”

The defendant, 27, of Heol Rhyd Y Bedd, Pant, Merthyr Tydfil, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm, dangerous driving and making off without paying for fuel.

Evans had one previous conviction for taking a quad bike without consent, failing to stop and driving with no insurance.

John Ryan, mitigating, said his client had stolen the fuel to help him pay off a £500 drug debt after he became addicted to cocaine.

He said Evans, an expectant father, was sorry for what he put Mr Cook through.

The judge, Recorder Dyfed Llion Thomas, told the defendant: “This was exceptionally dangerous.

“You could have killed him. Fortunately, miraculously perhaps, Mr Cook’s injuries were relatively minor.

“A taxi driver, Jonathan Barr, was a witness and he said he thought the man he saw on the bonnet was going to be dead.

South Wales Argus: L J Cook and Sons in Brynmawr. Picture: Google Maps

L J Cook and Sons in Brynmawr. Picture: Google Maps

“Mr Cook describes how he held on for his life. It must have been absolutely terrifying and you were to blame for causing that fear.”

The judge said that he was able spare the defendant immediate custody because of the age of the offence and his remorse.

Evans was jailed for 18 months, suspended for 18 months.

He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

The defendant must pay Mr Cook £250 in compensation and a £140 victim surcharge.

Evans was banned from driving for 12 months and has to sit an extended retest.