A dangerous driver who led police on a chase through a town at speeds of more than 130mph has been jailed.
Leon Fear, 23, failed to stop for officers carrying out random checks at the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown and then led them on a 20-minute pursuit through Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales.
Fear, who was driving a black Audi, drove on the wrong side of roads, went the wrong way around roundabouts and sped through red lights – narrowly missing other vehicles – on the evening of March 31 this year.
He reached speeds of nearly 100mph in 30mph zones and at one stage drove at above 130mph.
He also swerved across the carriageway to prevent the pursuing officer catching up with him.
#WATCH | A man who led police on a death-defying chase through the streets of @SWPMerthyr has been jailed.— South Wales Police (@swpolice) July 22, 2020
Leon Fear, 23, ignored a request to stop from a police officer and a pursuit lasted about 20 minutes, reaching speeds of up to 130mph.
After 20 minutes, the officer made the decision to stop the chase for safety reasons and another officer later found the Audi abandoned on waste ground off Club Street in Aberaman.
He saw several people running towards Blaengwawr primary school and a search involving dogs and the police helicopter began.
Minutes later, the officer heard splashing coming from a waterway behind him and he saw Fear.
Exhausted and soaking wet, Fear was handcuffed and taken into custody where he was later charged with dangerous driving, driving without a licence, and driving with no insurance.
Fear, of Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taf, was jailed for 14 months at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday and will also serve a three-year driving ban upon his release.
Pc Wayne Evans said: “His actions that day were reckless on an unimaginable scale. It is miraculous that nobody was seriously hurt or killed – a vehicle driven that way is a lethal weapon.
“He played roulette with his own life, the lives of those in his car and so many other innocent road users, and I had no other option but to end the pursuit, because he would stop at nothing to get away.
“He deserves to be in prison and upon his release he won’t have the privilege of getting behind a wheel for a long time, which is a very good thing.”