A FATHER-of-three was handed a prison sentence and driving ban after a court heard how he crashed into a police car while under the influence of alcohol.

John James Evans, 31, was handed a 10-month prison sentence for dangerous driving after he admitted using his Audi A3 dangerously on Wrexham’s Vicarage Hill, Brook Street and Ruabon Road in July 2019.

Evans, of Trem y Gardden in Penycae, had denied a separate charge of assaulting two police constables – namely by crashing into a marked car whilst trying to evade officers - but was found guilty following a trial at Mold Crown Court.

Evans was also handed a two-year driving disqualification as part of his punishment.

Jade Tufail, prosecuting, told the court that Evans caught the attention of officers on duty in the early hours of the morning after causing a disturbance in the town centre at around 1am.

Police were able to track the defendant – along with three other men – to a nearby car park using CCTV cameras where they got into the car and drove off at speed.

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John James Evans

After officers activated the blue lights, signalling Evans to pull over, his black car appeared to come to a stop just before a junction on Vicarage Street.

Ms Tufail says officers described Evans’ look as panicked and identified that there was at least one passenger in the car at the time of stopping.

As the car blocked Evans path, he accelerated towards the car and struck the police vehicle at force and officers were sent ‘back and forth’ during the collision. As Evans made his escape, he was heard to have reversed the car and hit the police officer’s vehicle a second time before continuing to drive dangerously around the town.

The court was told that Evans almost crashed with a HGV shortly before being arrested after he was found hiding behind a car at a residential property and trying to escape officers again by jumping over a fence but failing.

Ms Tufail revealed that damage to the police vehicle totalled more than £3,000. She also said that Evans’ car was recovered from his brother’s home address with damage matching the incident with the police officers.

The court heard brief statements from the officers involved about how the injuries, whilst not serious in nature, should not be expected as they go about their duties to protect the public.

Dafydd Roberts, defending, argued that Evans was struggling with anxiety and depression following the breakdown of a relationship in 2018 – for which he is on medication.

He also asked the judge to consider credit for Evans’ guilty plea in relation to the dangerous driving charge as well as the fact he was now in regular contact with his three young children.

In passing sentence, Judge Rhys Rowlands said that this offence should not be looked at lightly and that only a custodial sentence would be appropriate.

He said: “It was clear at the time of your arrest that you were drunk, and you panicked as you feared losing your licence and being able to return to your previous work as an HGV driver but this really is no excuse.”

He added that Mr Evans was ‘incredibly lucky’ that nobody else was hurt more seriously or worse – killed.

The judge added: “The driving on this night involved excessive speed in a built-up area and you drove into a police car, effectively twice, in order to get away from officers which resulted in them sustaining injuries – albeit in either case were they were not particularly serious thankfully.”