Man jailed after playing 'roulette' with lives of others in high-speed car chase through Merthyr Tydfil

A man has been jailed after leading police on a high-speed car chase through the streets of Merthyr Tydfil.

Leon Fear ignored a police request to stop from an officer on Dowlais High Street, instead speeding off.

Police pursued the 23-year-old in what became a dangerous chase as Fear drove on the wrong side of the road and, at one stage, reached speeds of more than 130mph.

The police officer called off the chase after 20 minutes for safety reasons but Fear was later found after another officer, police dogs and a helicopter were called in to help with the search.

Fear was a jailed for 14 months at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday 21 July. He will also be banned from driving for three years upon his release.

Fear was handed a jail sentence of 14 months as well as being given a three-year driving ban, to take effect on his release from prison. Credit: South Wales Police

Leon Fear, from Ferndale in the Rhondda Valley , sped away from a police officer who was carrying out checks in Dowlais on March 31. The officer proceeded to follow the black Audi Fear was driving.

Despite displaying blue lights and the siren, Fear ignored the officer and continued to drive recklessly away.

In a bid to escape, Fear drove through red lights and in the wrong direction down roads and around roundabouts, narrowly missing other vehicles.

He drove at almost 100mph in 30mph zones and even reached speeds of more than 130mph at some points.

Bodycam footage showed the moment police finally tracked down Leon Fear after he abandoned the car he had been driving. Credit: South Wales Police

After the police officer called off the chase for safety reasons, another officer went on to find the car Fear had been driving abandoned on waste ground off Club Street in Aberaman.

This launched another search involving police dogs and a helicopter.

Moments later, the officer heard a splashing noise coming from the waterway behind him and found an exhausted and soaking wet Fear.

He was arrested and taken into custody where he was later charged with dangerous driving, driving without a license, and driving with no insurance.

Fear drove the black Audi the wrong way round a roundabout during the 20 minute chase. Credit: South Wales Police

Fear was handed a jail sentence of 14 months as well as being given a three-year driving ban, to take effect on his release from prison.

Roads Policing Officer, PC Wayne Evans, said: "His actions that day were reckless on an unimaginable scale. It is miraculous that nobody was seriously hurt or killed - a vehicle driven that way is a lethal weapon.

"He played roulette with his own life, the lives of those in his car and so many other innocent road users, and I had no other option but to end the pursuit, because he would stop and nothing to get away.

"He deserves to be in prison and upon his release he won't have the privilege of getting behind a wheel for a long time which is a very good thing."