A BANNED driver was jailed after he was caught with a butterfly knife and cocaine on the M4 after being followed by Gwent Police through Newport.

Matthew Whitehouse, 44, also failed to provide a specimen when he was taken into custody at Newport Central police station for drug and alcohol tests.

The defendant was arrested at Cardiff Gate services at 10.30pm on April 21 after it was believed the Volkswagen Golf he was travelling in was stolen.

Abigail Jackson, prosecuting, said how officers found the butterfly knife and a bag of cocaine inside the car.

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She told Cardiff Crown Court: “He told them he had a cocaine addiction.”

Whitehouse, of William Street, Ystrad, Pentre, Rhondda Cynon Taf, pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and possession of cocaine.

He also admitted failing to provide a specimen, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Miss Jackson said Whitehouse had six previous convictions for 16 offences.

They included drink driving, driving without due care and attention and possession of an offensive weapon.

Gareth Williams, representing the defendant, said in mitigation: “At 44 he should know better.

“Part of his problem is his addiction to class A drugs and he wants to deal with that.”

The judge, Recorder Shomon Khan, told Whitehouse: “You have a bad record and previous convictions for like offences.”

Whitehouse was jailed for 10 months and banned from driving for four years following his release from prison.

The defendant was also ordered to pay a £156 victim surcharge.