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Stressed burger van man crashed into police car chasing him

A burger van man crashed into a police car which was chasing him after two women reported him for making threats.

Gareth Davies, 25, of the Meadows in Usk, committed a string of offenses over a two-week period in November last year after he became stressed over his new burger and snacks business, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Davies was sentenced after admitting offenses of occasioning actual bodily harm towards ex-girlfriend Jessica Bills, theft of a £500 phone belonging to another love interest Teka Wallace, disclosure of private photos of Teka Wallace causing her distress, dangerous driving, and possession of cannabis .

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Jeff Jones, prosecuting, told the court that at the time of the offenses Davies was 24 and had been in a relationship with Jessica Bills since March 2021 and also had a relationship history with Teka Wallace.

Mr Jones said at 9.45pm on the evening of November 15 Davies had “rowed over Ms Bills receiving Snapchat messages”.

“He attempted to take cigarettes with him and she took them back,” Mr Jones said. “Then he lost his cool. He pinned her against a door with all of his weight.”

Ms Bills phoned the police before Davies “threw her onto the bed”. “He lost his cool even more,” Mr Jones said. “He then put her right hand into his mouth and bit it as hard as he could. He then stopped because he had discovered she had phoned the police.

“At the time he was on police bail for allegations involving the same complainant.”

In a victim impact statement Ms Bills said she had required counseling since the ordeal and doesn’t feel safe in her own house.

Recorder Duncan Bould pointed out that Ms Bills hadn’t received any notable injuries.

The prosecution then told the court how on the weekend of November 27 and 28 the defendant had “made threats to kill” Ms Bills and Ms Wallace.

Ms Wallace had known Davies for six years and had been in an “on-off relationship” with him during that time. Davies was banned from approaching her.

After Ms Wallace’s phone was stolen by Davies Ms Wallace found naked pictures of herself on Snapchat which Davies admitted to police to posting on the app. While Ms Wallace quickly removed the images herself she said it had caused great embarrassment to her.

Mr Jones said on November 28 there was a further row between the pair where Davies called Ms Wallace a “slag” and “threatened to kill her”.

“She feared what was going to happen and she left the house with her two children.”

Later on November 28 the prosecution told the court how a “flurry of contacts” had been made to the police from both women who were “scared of what he was going to do”.

Police went to Ms Wallace’s house in Cwmbran with a view to finding the defendant but while on their way there they saw the defendant driving towards them. Police said it was clear that the defendant had no intention of stopping.

After realizing the police were after him Davies hit a parked Peugout on the side of the road and also hit the police car as he “squeezed past them”.

A Gwent Police officer driving the marked police car said the incident had worsened an existing back injury and had caused him pain.

Davies evaded the car but was spotted by a police helicopter which was deployed within minutes.

He was discovered shortly after police found his Nissan Qashqai abandoned on farmland off the A4042 between Pontypool and Cwmbran.

Following his arrest police performed a drugs test and found cannabis and cocaine in his system and a small amount of cannabis with him which he hadn’t taken.

Davies, who has been remanded in custody since then, had one previous relevant conviction of drug-driving in May 2019 after which he was disqualified from driving for 12 months.

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Ieuan Bennett, for Davies, expressed his surprise that his client was facing a charge of ABH when there was no evidence of injury to Ms Bills.

He added: “The defendant now appreciates that the relationship with Jessica Bills is now at an end. He is a well-spoken and perfectly rational and reasonable person.

“In November of last year he was working in a burger van which he operated and he was working very long hours. He started taking cocaine and smoking cannabis.

“He wasn’t doing very well in his relationship with Jessica Bills and it seems he was falling apart.

“He accepts that he should not have done any of those things. I can tell you now that Ms Wallace has been visiting him in prison.”

Ms Wallace wrote to the court to withdraw her allegations against Davies and said she no longer requires a restraining order against him.

“I believe he is a different person now than the one that went to prison.”

Sentencing, Recorder Bould spoke to Davies directly, saying: “It is my view that the offense in this case cumulatively passes the custody threshold. You effectively had two relationships – one with your then-girlfriend Jessica Bills and one with Teka Wallace. Neither of those relationships were stable at the time and your responsibility for their instability was significant.

“At the same time you were having difficulty with the business you had started with high hopes. Unfortunately you decided to deal with those pressures by turning to drug use at a level where you lost control.

“Let this be a lesson not just to you but to everyone of the effect drugs can have on a person’s behaviour.”

Davies was sentenced to a total of 10 months in prison suspended for two years. He also was told he must undertake 100 hours of community work and pay prosecution costs of £720 over four months as well as a victim surcharge of £156. He also had a restraining order imposed on him banning him from approaching Ms Bills.

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