Suspended sentence for Newtown dangerous driver


Court Reporter

A groundsman has avoided jail for dangerous driving while not holding a licence.

Luke Bellis, 24, of Heol y Coleg, Newtown, failed to stop when followed by police on January 23 in wet and near freezing conditions on the B4355, said the prosecution.

He eventually stopped and said he panicked because he had not reapplied for his licence.

At Welshpool Magistrates Court on Tuesday, he admitted dangerous driving, driving without a licence, insurance or a test certificate, and failing to attend court on a previous appearance.

Helen Hall, prosecuting, said the incident happened between 11.40am and noon.

PC White was in an unmarked car, that was stationary.

He saw a blue car turn into a drive and go back to where it came from.

Thinking it was suspicious, the officer followed.

He then activated the blue lights, to which the car, driven by Bellis, accelerated and was reaching speeds of 70mph on the single carriageway road.

He was straddling the centre line and officers said he was driving beyond his skill level.

They said it was wet and temperatures near freezing. He eventually stopped and was attempting to control one of two dogs in the car.

Bellis handed over his keys and said he had panicked as he had not reapplied for his licence after a ban.

He had pleaded not guilty, however when he was due to go on trial on Monday, he changed his plea.

Julian Davies, for probation, said Bellis had trouble filling out his form for a new driving licence, due to dyslexia.

Magistrates said it was a terrible piece of driving on an awful stretch of road and it could have ended in a terrible tragedy.

He was told the offence had passed the custody threshold, but received 20 weeks in prison, suspended for a year.

He was banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

Bellis will have to pay £600 costs and £115 victim surcharge and will have to take an extended re-test when his ban ends.

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