A topless man ran away from police outside McDonald's in the middle of the night after he "panicked" that he didn't have insurance to drive his granddad's car.

Jordan Haynes-Greatorex was suspected of driving under the influence when staff at the Welshpool fast food restaurant noted that he was "either on drugs or intoxicated" in the drive-thru.

When police arrived and made checks on the white VW Touran, the 26-year-old tried to run away but an officer grabbed his t-shirt which twisted and came off.

Welshpool Magistrates' Court was told that Haynes-Greatorex "disappeared into the darkness" of the Montgomery Canal towpath near McDonald's but left his driver's licence at the scene.

Haynes-Greatorex escaped a driving ban after he pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and failing to provide for a breath test in court this week. Magistrates said it was based on his "very good" references and that two of his colleagues would lose their jobs if the Welshpool man was disqualified from driving.


Helen Tench, prosecuting, said that just after 4am on September 4 last year, the McDonald's manager suspected there was a drink driver at the drive-thru, and delayed Haynes-Greatorex's vehicle while waiting for the police to arrive.

The manager noticed Haynes-Greatorex, who had his feet out of the window, had "slurring" speech and called the police.

"The defendant said he wanted to telephone his grandfather," Mrs Tench said.

"He then attempted to run away but an officer grabbed his t-shirt, but it twisted and his t-shirt came off. The defendant disappeared into the darkness of the towpath near McDonald's. He had left his driver’s licence at the scene."

During an interview, Haynes-Greatorex admitted he had been driving and drank alcohol but another passenger had also been drinking. He told the officers that he began to panic about the insurance and was under the impression he was allowed to drive the vehicle. 

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Paul Inns, defending, said Haynes-Greatorex told police that he wasn’t drinking and doesn’t accept he was slurring his words, but he may have been tired. 

"Police attended and there was a discussion about insurance. In fairness to Mr Greatorex he panics a little. He was insured on numerous vehicles at work but doubt had sown a seed about his grandad’s car. 

"He wanted to phone his grandad and have a chat about it because he was concerned about insurance and panicked and ran off.

Mr Inns said his client had attempted to contact the police three times the next day, and added: "He’s a hardworking young man in fulltime employment and well thought of by his employers who have given him a very good character reference.

"In addition to his work commitment he picks up two other employees to work and they are wholly reliant on him. They would be unable to work for the company if he loses his licence.

"He’s still a young man. He’s done a foolish error. He holds his hands up but he did make that effort to contact police."

Magistrates imposed seven penalty points on Haynes-Greatorex's driver's licence and fined £346 for driving without insurance, and ordered to pay £223 in court costs.

Nerys Jones, chair, said: "You have been very close to losing your licence."

Haynes-Greatorex replied: “I can assure I won’t be back here for another driving offence.”

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