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Pair in police car chase had string of criminal convictions

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

Swansea Crown Court

Swansea Crown Court

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TWO men involved in an early morning police chase where they drove on the wrong side of the road, on a pavement and even down stairs, have been jailed.

Robert Reynolds, 27, and his co-accused Craig Cullen, 27, were both in a Daewoo car and goaded police into following them.

Reynolds has seven convictions for taking vehicles, five for dangerous driving and 15 for driving while disqualified.

He admitted dangerous driving, aggravated vehicle-taking and driving while disqualified and having no insurance.

Last month he stood trial accused of ram-raids at Comet and Staples stores in Swansea. He was found not guilty on one count and the jury at Swansea Crown Court failed to reach a verdict on the second.

The prosecution had alleged the Daewoo car had been used in both those burglaries. His co-accused, Craig Cullen, admitted a single charge of being carried in a vehicle knowing it to have been stolen.

He had four previous convictions involving taking motor cars, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Speed

At 3.15am on April 30 police saw the car being driven by Reynolds in Uplands, Swansea.

Specialist traffic officers followed the car on to Mansel Street where Reynolds began to speed up. He then made his way to Neath Road, where they watched him make a handbrake turn.

Patrick Griffiths, prosecuting, said: “It’s then that his driving got significantly worse”.

He said Reynolds, of Carmarthen Road, Fforestfach, drove “as fast as he could” and drove on the wrong side of the dual carriageway. As he approached Nantong Way, he mounted the pavement before driving the car down a set of steep stairs towards a nearby pond.

When the car was forced to stop, Reynolds, along with Cullen, 27, of Townhill Road, Mayhill, and a third man Carl Thomas, 36, of Mansel Road, Bonymaen, jumped out, before being arrested.

Thomas, who denies knowing he was being carried in a stolen car, will stand trial at a later date.

Dyfed Thomas, representing Reynolds, said that because of the time in the morning, the roads would have been quiet and no-one was injured. But he accepted: “It was a bad period of driving.”

“He never quibbled about his involvement in the driving. He accepts his dishonesty in getting in that car and driving it away in the way he did,” added Mr Thomas.

Andrew Evans, appearing for Cullen, said his client had got into the car minutes before the car chase. He admitted realising the car was stolen but not getting out of the car.

“He would like the opportunity of putting his offending past behind him sooner rather than later,” said Mr Evans.

Judge Keith Thomas, sitting at Swansea Crown Court, imposed 16-month terms on Reynolds for the offences of aggravated vehicle- taking and dangerous driving and another four-month sentence for driving while disqualified, all of which will run concurrently.

Reynolds was also banned from driving for two years.

“You were trying to provoke the police into chasing you because you gained some thrill or satisfaction from that and your previous convictions indicate you have previously driven dangerously when being chased by the police,” said the judge.

No separate penalty was imposed for having no insurance.

Cullen was given a 39-week sentence and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

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  • Philosoraptor  |  December 14 2012, 1:44PM

    These sentences are the reason why they are repeat offenders, if they are locked up then they cannot commit the offence again. If somebody has their property stolen, or if they are attacked by any of these people then I would support the victims suing the judge as he/she is responsible for allowing another to be a possibility.

    |   7
  • Neathboy234  |  December 13 2012, 4:13PM

    That will be the Daewoo when they change their ways.

    |   1
  • geoboy01  |  December 13 2012, 4:06PM

    these guys are not kids any more they want to grow up!

    |   7
  • maxmin  |  December 13 2012, 11:19AM

    The simple way of stopping this nonsense is to have a single jail term upon conviction. It should be 'Not exceeding 500 years'. Away you go. If you want to get out before the 500 years you have to prove to a panel made up of Judiciary, Police and Victims, that you can be released without causing any further problems. The decision has to be unanimous. If you can't then you stay in. This way the victims are placed in a position of power, a position that now only the criminal holds.

    |   8
  • GorsseinonJoe  |  December 13 2012, 10:21AM

    The defence statements are a joke worthy of "Live at the Apollo". Defence lawyers ought to be horsewhipped for having the temerity to put these statements forward as reasons. "Roads were quiet", "no-one hurt". Laughable Over the last couple of days we've read about a driver of a stolen car killed and yet we are led to believe these are "good guys" who have taken the wrong path? If someone had been killed, we would probably hear that they were good family people, loving, funny etc. I don't think so, they know what they are doing. 7 previous offences, 4 previous offences,"He would like the opportunity of putting his offending past behind him" This can be translated to "let me off". A joke. I would put money on these names appearing in this paper "sooner rather than later".

    |   26
  • paul20111  |  December 13 2012, 10:10AM

    Thieves sent to jail.Friends are upset because the thieves are lovely people and should not be in jail over christmas period.I am waiting for people to start defending the thieves yet again.

    |   23
  • sianmartin2  |  December 13 2012, 9:59AM

    They adults are worse than the kids these days !!!!

    |   -4
  • swanseajock  |  December 13 2012, 9:54AM

    16 months and 39 weeks? That will teach them - NOT!!

    |   28

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