A DRINK-DRIVER who was more than twice the limit was jailed for causing a multiple crash after running a red light in a van.

Matthew Hamilton scraped an Audi TT, drove through traffic lights on Pencarn Way in Newport, collided with a Ford Focus before reversing into a Vauxhall Zafira.

Laura Shepherd, prosecuting, said the 32-year-old defendant committed the offences just weeks after he was given a suspended prison sentence for driving whilst disqualified.

Hamilton caused chaos while at the wheel of a friend’s Ford Transit van on March 23.


Miss Shepherd told Cardiff Crown Court: “The driver of the Audi TT saw the defendant’s vehicle jittering and stalling with black smoke coming from the exhaust.

“She then noticed the van scrapping her car after colliding with the rear passenger side.

“It went through a red light and didn’t stop before hitting a Ford Focus and reversing into a Vauxhall Zafira near the junction with the A48.

“Paul Jones was driving home from work in his Focus.

“He could tell the defendant had been drinking. He was slurring his words.

“Mr Jones prevented him from leaving and took pictures of his van.”

The police were called and they arrested Hamilton.

The defendant was taken to Newport Central police station where he gave a reading of 79 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

The legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

Hamilton, from Llwyn-y-Maen, Oswestry, Shropshire, pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving with no insurance and being in breach of a suspended prison sentence.

Miss Shepherd said the defendant had 26 previous conviction for 30 offences.

These included drink-driving and being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol.

In February, Hamilton was jailed for 20 weeks, suspended for 12 months, for two counts of driving whilst disqualified.

The court was told the defendant had “a significant alcohol problem”.

Scott Bowen, putting forward personal mitigation, said his client and his partner had only just found out they had lost a child due to be born.

The judge, Recorder Mark Powell QC, told Hamilton “You were heavily intoxicated and you have an appalling driving record.

“You had no business driving and you had no insurance.”

He added: “You were given a chance by the magistrates.

“You desperately need a period of drying out.”

Hamilton was jailed for six months and banned from driving for three years.

He was also ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge.