A MAN who stole a trailer from a farmyard and then tried to evade police by driving dangerously has been jailed.

John Pughe, of Glascoed Road in Bwlchgwyn, Wrexham, appeared at Mold Crown Court on Thursday for sentence.

The 22-year-old had previously admitted offences of theft and dangerous driving.

Oliver King, prosecuting, told the court that on April 5 this year, Pugh and an unidentified male were caught on CCTV entering a remote farmyard north of Welshpool in a Nissan pickup truck.

In a "brazen" manner, the truck then reversed up to an Ifor Williams trailer, which was secured to and driven away.

The family living at the farm had spotted a drone flying over the farm a few days earlier, and whilst it could not be evidenced that the device was connected, Mr King said it was a "remarkable coincidence."

He suggested the drone had been used to "stake out" the farm.

A member of the family living at the farm spotted the trailer being taken towards Oswestry and followed at a safe distance whilst informing police.

Officers then took over as the trailer was taken to the Mile End roundabout and headed towards Gobowen.

The passenger got out of the pickup truck but the defendant remained at the wheel and refused to stop.

He picked up speed and turned onto country lanes.


Despite a stinger deflating the pickup's front tyres, Pughe kept driving - trailing a shower of sparks as he carried on through Llangollen and over the Horseshoe Pass.

Whilst the speed was not excessive, the chase saw Pughe carry out a number of dangerous manoeuvres including crossing blind junctions and solid white lines.

He also reversed at a police car, sending the trailer up a bank at the side of the road.

Finally, Pughe was stopped near Llandegla and was arrested after trying to run.

Chris Clark, defending, told the court: "The defendant is making his second appearance in an adult court in circumstances he regret.

"He maintains the other man came to him with a proposal which he foolishly accepted to earn some ready cash in view of the financial difficulties he was experiencing.

"It is fortuitous no one was injuries and no damage was caused in that pursuit.

"He is industriously employed, helping his dad on the pig farm and with casual work on other farms throughout the area."

Judge Niclas Parry said: "The courts in north Wales will protect farmers and owners of rural properties - who are easy targets.

The Leader:

"You travelled some distance to get to this place at night and what happened after was appalling and dangerous.

"Over an hour of different types of dangerous driving, putting others at risk.

"You were trying to escape and a significant amount of police resources were used."

The Judge handed down a sentence of 12 months imprisonment, to be served immediately, as well as a driving ban of two years and six months.