DAVID Perry is well-known in Newport - but for all the wrong reasons.

In August 2016 he, along with another man, Jerome Nunes, led police on a high-speed chase through Newport and Cwmbran, speeding through red lights and ignoring the safety of other drivers.

Witnesses reported seeing Nunes throwing “white powder” out of the car before they pulled into a garage owned by Nunes and frantically began trying to clean the car and change their clothes.

When they were caught they were found to have up to 832g of cocaine on them - and Mr Perry was jailed for eight years and six months. Nunes was jailed for seven years and eight months.

Today, more than six years later, Mr Perry's life is very different.

Speaking to our sister magazine Voice, he said he realised during his time in prison that something had to be done to turn his life around - not only for himself, but for his family, especially his daughter.

“When my family heard the news that I was sentenced for eight years, six months, they were shocked, and of course, felt very let down by me," he said.

"A part of their lives had been taken from them due to my irresponsible actions.

"I knew the long sentence would be tough, not only for myself but my family too, but this was just the beginning for me – missing time with my daughter that I will never get back really hit home with me inside and made me realise just how stupid I was being. I finally saw that what I was doing was not only affecting my personal family in a bad way, but the wider community as a whole too.

“In prison I knew I had to re-educate and train myself in preparation for my release to enable me to live a better life and set a positive role model for my daughter."

With funding from the Prisoner’s Education Trust, he spent his time behind bars gaining a plethora of qualifications, including Property Management, Work Place Law, Health and Safety in the Workplace, Construction Environment, and Carpentry and Joinery.

During his training he even spent time working on the construction of the Grange University Hospital, installing the integrated plumbing systems and baby baths for the critical baby ward.

After securing early release, he wasted no time in setting up his property business, ASP Properties and Management, named after his daughter.

Since then he had carried out a number of projects in Newport and the surrounding area, and won high acclaim for his work, recently winning the award for Best Refurb and Flip at the Property Investor Awards Wales for his work converted a condemned HMO in Blackwood High Street.

It was a proud moment for Mr Perry and one which he believes shows anyone can turn their lives around.

“It’s incredible what a second chance and hope can do for one’s future," he said.

“I love constructing things and seeing the end product realised is very rewarding for me. This new way of life enables me to be a positive role model to my daughter, provide for my family and gives immense peace of mind knowing that I am no longer looking over my shoulder or worried about letting my family down for all the wrong reasons.”

For people who found themselves in a similar situation, he says: “Try your best stay positive, work hard at it, invest in yourself and personal development, get to know the sector you want to enter and provide a first-class service.

“It will work out for you if you’re committed, work towards something and try your best to be a good role model for others as well as your family.

“Crime is not big or clever, it’s a waste of your life and your families lives, having them visit you and support you because of your actions.”