A DRIVER was told he was lucky to be alive after a missile cracked his windscreen in the latest of a spate of attacks.

Retired couple John and Margaret Jenkins were driving on the A4042 near Pontypool when their windscreen was hit by an object.

The AA employee who repaired the car told the couple the laminated windscreen on the Rover car saved Mr Jenkins' life as it didn't shatter on impact but cracked.

Mr and Mrs Jenkins had been on their way home to Govilon from County Hall, Cwmbran, when the incident happened at around 9pm last Tuesday.

Mrs Jenkins said: "It was a wet and dark night. John came to pick me up and we were driving along the road when we heard what I thought was a gunshot.

"There was nothing in front of us and we thought that some masonry had fallen. "I couldn't be certain if it came from the New Inn train station bridge or not, as it was dark." She described how her husband managed to keep control of the car.

"He was very calm and took his feet off the pedals and just let the car go," said Mrs Jenkins.

"We managed to get home safely but he could have been killed and others should be warned about the dangers."

When she reported it to the police she discovered there had been ten other reports of missiles being thrown by gangs.

The Argus reported earlier this month how louts attacked on the same stretch of road at 8.30pm one night.

Maria Hardisty, of St Helen's Crescent, Llanellen, and her son Rhys, 14, escaped serious injury when the quarterlight of her Vauxhall Cavalier was smashed by a brick.

She pulled over into a layby and found that five other cars had been forced to stop because of damage.

The day before the Jenkins' attack, another motorist reported being targeted by stone throwers as he drove there.

The man said the missile narrowly missed his car as he passed under the New Inn train station bridge at about 3pm.

Police have stepped up patrols and said no-one has been seen on the bridge, which has been checked to ensure nothing was falling from it.

A police spokesman said: "Our inquiries are continuing and we would ask anyone with any information to contact us at Pontypool police station on 01495 764711."

*PICTURED: Maria Hardisty, whose quarterlight was hit by a brick.