A NEW dad has been jailed for more than three years after being caught driving at more than double the speed limit in a car stolen from an A&E worker at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Morgan Hanford, 28, of Alexandra Road, Newport, was caught speeding in Usk Way in a white BMW on June 7 last year.

The car had been stolen from outside the Royal Gwent Hospital two days earlier while the doctor who owned it was working in A&E.

“The stolen vehicle was travelling at 70mph along East Dock Road, where the speed limit is 30mph,” prosecutor Susan Ferrier told Newport Crown Court.

Hanford also turned his headlights off while speeding. He was arrested after he was stopped by a police 'stinger' device.


Ben Walters, mitigating, sai Hanford did not take the vehicle from the hospital car park, but did know it was stolen when it came into his possession.

Hanford was also facing charges of possession with intent to supply both heroin and crack cocaine, dating back to July 2019.

Gwent Police received a call from a Newport resident who had found a package by his garden gate.

A plain clothes officer attended, and found the package contained Class A drugs, Ms Ferrier said. The officer also found another similar package in the same area.

Hanford arrived, and “said he was there looking for a package left for him by his brother or a mate,” said Ms Ferrier. He then asked the plain-clothes officer if he could give him the package if he saw it.

The defendant took off on a bicycle, and he was chased down and arrested by officers.

On him, police found £75 in cash and a phone.

“It was clear from the messages on his phone that the defendant was involved in dealing drugs,” said Ms Ferrier.

He was also found with 10 wraps of heroin, weighing 1.9 grams in total, and 32 wraps of crack cocaine, weighing a total of 2.93 grams.

Mr Walters said that Hanford recently became a father for the first time, and he wanted to put his offences behind him.

“Eighteen months awaiting sentence is a significant period of time,” he said. “It has weighed heavily on him.

“There’s a large amount of shame he has with regards to his offending. It’s a life he wants to put behind him.”

The judge, Recorder David Harris, told Hanford: “Driving at those speeds for a period of time with your headlights turned off represented a clear danger to persons that night.

“It was a bad case of dangerous driving.”

Hanford was jailed for a total of 40 months - 31 months for the two drug offences, and a further nine months for aggravated vehicle taking.

For the charge of dangerous driving, Hanford was sentenced to eight months in prison, to run concurrently. He was also handed a four-month sentence for driving while disqualified - also running concurrently.

He faces no separate penalty for driving without insurance or failing to stop.

Hanford has also been disqualified from driving for two years upon his release from prison, and must pass an extended driving test before regaining his licence.

He must also pay a £181 surcharge.