Bristol van driver jailed after speeding wrong way on A-road and crashing as police chased

A Bristol driver has been jailed after failing to stop for police, leading them on a high-speed pursuit and then crashing his van into two parked cars.

Ashley Iles, 34, of Norwich Drive in St Annes, appeared for sentence at Bristol Crown Court today (Thursday, March 3). He admitted dangerous driving after the incident on March 10 last year, which his defence barrister said happened when he was “upset” after an argument with his girlfriend.

Judge Michael Longman jailed him for nine months, banned him from driving for 868 days and told him to take an extended driving test. Her told Iles: “At a time when you were on licence following early release from a previous sentence you drove in a highly reckless way.”

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Charlotte Evans, prosecuting, said it was just gone 3am in a wet St George when police became aware of a Peugeot van, driven by Iles, driving at speed. When they activated their blue lights he failed to stop and so began a seven minute pursuit, the court heard.

Police looked on as Iles approached junctions without slowing and drove the wrong way down one-way streets. The court heard Iles drove the wrong way down St Philips Causeway at 90mph, drove the wrong way around Avonmeads roundabout (near McDonald’s and the retail park) and then resumed the wrong way down St Philips Causeway with his headlights off.

Ultimately Iles entered Beaufort Road, crashed into two parked cars and was arrested. He made no comment when interviewed. Matthew Jackson, defending, said: “He accepts excessive speed in a built-up area.

“He says the van could do no more then 70mph. He tells me that particular evening he had an argument with his girlfriend and was in a particularly upset mood.”

Mr Jackson said his client had been unwilling to engage with police and did not dispute any other aspects of the prosecution case. He conceded he was on licence at the time.

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