TWO teenagers who led police on a dramatic high speed chase from Newtown to Welshpool were likely "vital cogs" in a larger drugs operation a judge has said.

Tarjae Bailey and Shamail Malek, both from Wolverhampton, travelled in a stolen Ford Fiesta at speeds reaching 95 miles per hour as they evaded officers between the two towns in October 2018.

Malek, who was driving, was only 16 at the time, while Bailey, a passenger, was then 17 when the offences were committed.

They had failed to stop when asked to do so on Llanidloes Road by police who were on targeted patrols in the Newtown area at around 10.30am that day.

Both appeared from custody at Mold Crown Court as they are serving jail sentences for other offences, having entered guilty pleas to the Mid Wales offences last week.

Malek, now 18, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, both pleaded guilty to possessing Class A drugs, while Bailey, now 19, pleaded guilty to possessing Class B drugs.

Andrew Green, prosecuting at Mold Crown Court said the blue Fiesta passed Ladywell School in Trehafren as police continued to pursue it from Newtown to Welshpool.

County Times:

The daytime chase passed Ladywell Infants School in Newtown

The speed reached 95 miles per hour with the Fiesta overtaking across a solid white line as the duo continued to evade police.

Officers then made 'tactical contact' with the vehicle, causing £600 worth of damage to the front of the police car but the chase continued, as Malek steered the car through a 'No entry' sign into the path of oncoming traffic, causing other drivers to swerve.

Members of the public also saw the vehicle travel the wrong way up Meadow Lane in Welshpool before Malek and Bailey left the car and jumped over a garden fence, when they were arrested.

Bailey was found in possession of a grinder and £10 worth of herbal cannabis. Inside the Fiesta, which was found to be stolen with a different registration, police found cash and a £20 wrap of heroin.

Heroin wraps were also found dropped near the vehicle.

Mr Green said that as both defendants were unemployed with significant amounts of cash found in the vehicle the case bore "all the hallmarks of County Lines drug dealing", although they were not charged with that offence.

Brett Williamson, defending Bailey and Rebecca Da Silva, defending Malek, urged the Judge Niclas Parry to consider their youth at the time of the offences when sentencing them, while considering pre-sentence reports.

Judge Parry said: "You are now both in a place where you may for the first time realise only a downward spiral awaits you if you continue the behaviour you have since you were 16.

"At that age you were important cogs in a much bigger wheel bringing Class A drugs to a part of Wales where the misery they cause is at its highest.

"But you were very young, no doubt seen as young men who could be taken advantage of and easily tempted."

For dangerous driving, Malek was banned from driving for two years and three months.

Both were sentenced to six months detention and training to run alongside their current offences, for possessing Class A drugs.

For possessing a Class B drug, Bailey was given no separate penalty.