A STROUD man has been jailed for sixteen months for dangerous driving - including crashing into a police car - during a pursuit in the country lanes of the Cotswolds.

At Gloucester Crown Court yesterday prosecutor Alun Williams said that Adam Watkins, 20, of Shepherds Croft, Uplands, Stroud, had been involved with a domestic dispute with his former partner in which he breached the conditions of a restraining order.

Mr Williams said: “On January 11, the police were taking a statement from the victim about Watkins’ latest contact with the woman when he turned up on her doorstep.

“But when he identified himself to the police he realised he had been rumbled and fled the property.

“Over the next 24 hours he tried to evade the police and a description of him and his car registration is circulated across the force area.

“And 24 hours later PC Ravehill spots him in a car park at Cranham Woods where he is challenged.”

The court was told that he drove off in his Vauxhall Corsa and was followed by a police car with flashing blue lights.

The court was shown dashcam footage of the pursuit in which Watkins was seen driving dangerously through villages at speeds in excess of 60mph on the wrong side of the road.

“Watkins is seen trying to evade capture by the police along Cheltenham Road, New Street and Stroud Road where the pursuit ends as he crashes into another police vehicle,” said Mr Williams.

“When the police officers approached Watkins he then assaults a police officer in trying to avoid being arrested.”

Steve Young, defending, explained that Watkins and the woman had been together since 2015 and he claimed he went to her house because she had invited him over.

“She claims she never asked for the restraining order,” said Mr Young.

“When he saw the police officer at her house he just panicked and ran off, which is why the police were looking for him.”

The court heard that the next day the woman told Watkins that she had been evicted from her home and they met each other at a hotel before travelling to Cranham Woods in his car.

Mr Young said: “The pair were sleeping in the vehicle, when the Corsa was discovered by police.

“He states he just panicked and drove off with the woman as his passenger and was followed by the police in lengthy pursuit which led him to drive dangerously.

“He accepted that there was a restraining order in place due to background of domestic violence, but he believes, incorrectly, that the order had expired.”

Watkins admitted all five charges of assault on police, dangerous driving, harassment and breaches of a restraining order.

Judge Martin Picton said to Watkins: “This was really a bad decision you made by putting your passenger at risk during the police pursuit at which you created a hazardous situation that only ended when you crashed into a police vehicle.

“I feel there is no prospect of rehabilitation and therefore my only option is immediate custody.”

The judge jailed Watkins for 16 months and disqualified him from driving for four years and eight months.