Dangerous driver rammed police car during 100mph chase in Gwynedd

Rowland John Humphreys, 45, of Lombard Street, Dolgellau, was jailed for a total of two years for driving a motor vehicle dangerously and breaching a restraining order
Rowland John Humphreys, 45, of Lombard Street, Dolgellau, was jailed for a total of two years for driving a motor vehicle dangerously and breaching a restraining order -Credit:North Wales Police

A man rammed a police car during a 100mph chase through Gwynedd. Rowland Humphreys had threatened to take his own life, and officers began to look for him.

When they spotted his white van, he set off across Gwynedd pursued by police at high speeds for five miles. He overtook lines of vehicles and caused others to take evasive action on a busy rural road.

Police eventually deployed a Stinger device. It failed to stop his van but swung wildly from the rear of his van until he voluntarily pulled over before trying to open a petrol can on his lap.

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Humphreys, 45, of Lombard Street, Dolgellau, admitted driving a motor vehicle dangerously and later breaching a restraining order. He was jailed for 12 months for each offence, with terms running consecutively and making a total of two years.

Prosecutor Simon Mintz told Caernarfon Crown Court that Humphreys had threatened to take his own life and police began looking for him on February 10 this year. He played footage of the police pursuing the defendant's white van.

It showed the defendant turning right down a country lane and stopping behind a Royal Mail vehicle as post was being delivered. The police car reverses but the defendant then reverses into the front of the marked police car, causing minor damage.

Humphreys drives away again and continues on a fairly busy rural road. He reached 100mph and overtook lines of vehicles on bends with restricted views, added Mr Mintz.

The Stinger doesn't stop him but instead swings wildly behind his van. But he pulls over into a layby shortly afterwards.

The court heard Humphreys was arrested and bailed on the driving charge. But days later, on February 21, he was handed a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting his former partner Kelly Jones.

But he breached that order that very day by ringing Ms Jones five times. On February 25 he breached it again by approaching her and walking alongside her.

On February 26 he breached the order yet again by entering her home against her wishes. Ms Jones was terrified, said Mr Mintz.

Police were called and he was arrested. She is scared of the defendant, she said in a statement.

Dafydd Roberts, defending, said his client has post traumatic stress disorder from a traumatic childhood. More recently he has abused drugs and alcohol and a close friend died in his arms.

But he has had time to reflect and is motivated to stop his substance abuse. The judge Her Honour Nicola Saffman told Humphreys it had been persistent, dangerous driving.

His "relentless" behaviour towards Ms Jones had only stopped because he was arrested and remanded in custody. But she bore in mind his guilty pleas and mental health issues in sentencing him.

Jailing Humphreys, who will serve half his jail terms in custody with the remainder served on licence, she also disqualified him from driving for two years plus one year to cover the time he is set to serve in prison. He must pass an extended retest before he can legally drive again.

The judge also extended the restraining order to expire not in 2025 but in 2029.

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