A CRIMINAL was told he was lucky he hadn’t killed anybody after driving dangerously through residential areas twice within the space of just eight days.

Justin Nichols led the police on high-speed chases in Newport firstly riding a moped and later while at the wheel of a Vauxhall Corsa car.

Both pursuits were called off after officers feared for the safety of the public.

Andrew Kendall, prosecuting, said the first incident took place in the Bettws area of the city on October 26, 2021.

He told Cardiff Crown Court banned driver Nichols was spotted on Monnow Way “fiddling with his bike helmet” by an officer driving an unmarked police car.


When the officer went to speak to the defendant, he mounted the pavement and made off at speed riding at more than 50mph in a 30mph zone.

“The officer activated the lights and siren on his vehicle and pursued him,” Mr Kendall said.

You have an appalling record

“The defendant went ahead at two roundabouts without slowing down before removing his bike helmet and throwing it over his head on to the road in front of the police vehicle.

“Due to the risk posed to members of the public and to the defendant himself, him having removed his safety equipment, the pursuit was aborted.”

The second incident happened after Nichols led police on a chase after he was seen driving the stolen Corsa on Pontfaen Road at around 3.40pm on November 3, 2021.

On this occasion, he reached a speed of 80mph in another 30mph zone in a built up area after avoiding a stinger device placed in front of him.

Nichols was pursued along Wharf Road and Jeffrey Street before the police decided to stand down on Corporation Road.

Mr Kendall added: “Again the pursuit was deemed too high risk and abandoned.”

The Corsa was later found damaged and it had collided with another vehicle.

Nichols, aged 26, of Llanthewy Road, Newport, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

The offences were committed while on licence after being jailed in 2020 for drug dealing, dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking.

Andrew Jones, representing the defendant, said in mitigation that no one had been hurt by his client’s dangerous driving.

The judge, Recorder Paul Hobson, told Nichols: “There are two separate incidents of bad driving and you have an appalling record.

“You could have killed or seriously injured either yourself or others during these incidents.

“The fact that you didn’t is pure luck.

“At the age of 26 it is about time you started thinking about the consequences of your actions.”

Nichols was jailed for 26 months and banned from driving for four years after he is released from prison.