A DANGEROUS driver sped through a red light and went the wrong way around roundabouts on a high-speed police chase.

Gareth Hall raced around Cwmbran in wet conditions as police officers struggled to keep up with his BMW.

The 23-year-old swerved past other vehicles and drove around roundabouts the wrong way as he tried to escape his pursuers in a residential area.

Eventually, the police car following him was told to stand down because the chase was "too dangerous to continue", a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court was told on Friday.

The court was shown police footage from the incident, with the display recording the speed of the officer's vehicle as Hall's car zoomed into the distance.

You can watch a clip of that police footage, which was made available by the CPS, here:

Later in the footage shown to the court, the officer has to accelerate to more than 90mph in a bid to keep up with the defendant.

Nigel Fryer, prosecuting, said Hall drove at 70mph straight through a red light at a pedestrian crossing, where there were people waiting to cross the road.

He said it was "perhaps luck, rather than judgement" that meant Hall avoided colliding into people or other vehicles when he committed the offending on June 19, 2020.


When Hall was apprehended, police also found him in possession of 700 canisters of nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), which is classed as a psychoactive substance.

The court was told the canisters would fill up to 1,400 balloons and could go on to have a street value of more than £7,000. 

Hall admitted dangerous driving and possessing a psychoactive substance with intent to supply.

Andrew Davies, defending, said Hall was a "tormented young man" who had "gone through a lot in his lifetime".

He had been given a "chance to change that life for the better" and had "complied" since September 2020 with a suspended sentence order handed down by the courts for other matters.

The judge, Recorder David Harris, said this was "a clear bad case of dangerous driving" in which Hall "put at risk" other drivers, pedestrians, the police officers and himself.

Noting Hall's guilty pleas and Mr Davies' assertions the defendant had "made changes to his life since then", the judge agreed there was a "reasonable prospect of rehabilitation".

He sentenced Hall, of Mill Heath, Bettws, Newport, to a total of 22 months in prison, suspended for two years. The defendant must also complete 200 hours of unpaid work and 25 days of rehabilitation activity. 

Hall was also banned from driving for two years, and must pass an extended re-test if he is to reclaim his driving licence at the end of that period.