A POWYS man now has two suspended prison sentences hanging over him, after a judge imposed a second jail term for dangerous driving.

Alex Tolman, 29, collided with another vehicle in a busy residential area in Brecon, while children were playing nearby, after losing control speeding round a corner.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard on Thursday, April 18, that he was also nearly three times the legal drink drive limit when the accident occurred on the evening of May 6 last year.

Tolman had initially only been charged with failing to provide a specimen, to which he pleaded not guilty in October.  The case was set down for trial, but then in January it was reviewed and he was charged with dangerous driving. He entered guilty pleas to both charges in February.


Prosecutor Alexandra Wilson told Tolman’s sentencing hearing the incident occurred in the Maes-y-Ffynnon area of Brecon at around 8.20pm.

“The complainant was driving a Chevrolet Spark when the defendant was travelling at speed coming from the opposite direction,” said Ms Wilson.

“The complainant noticed smoke coming from the defendant’s wheels. He drifted towards his vehicle, lost control and struck it.

“The defendant got out, approached the complainant and was immediately aggressive, accusing him of being at fault. He was described as incoherent and he demanded an ambulance.

“The complainant said that children were playing in the area and if he (Tolman) had not collided with him, the children would have been in harm’s way.

“He continued to protest his innocence when police and paramedics arrived and was abusive to them.”

Ms Wilson said Tolman failed an initial roadside breath test – with a reading of 96 micrograms of alcohol provided (the legal limit is 35 micrograms) – but then refused to provide a sample later at the hospital.

She said the victim suffered whiplash and lower back injuries that required physiotherapy.

She added that Tolman was convicted of drink driving and careless driving in 2019.

Representing Tolman, of Canal Road, Brecon, Sol Hartley said his client had received an initial suspended custodial sentence in June of last year for assault occasioning actual bodily harm on two elderly victims.

“Fortunately, this is not a case where the nature of poor driving is over a prolonged period,” said Mr Hartley.

“He accepts his driving was dangerous, he accepts he was impaired and was going too fast for the conditions, which is why he lost control.

“There is no evidence to suggest his speed was significantly excessive. He regrets the incident and has sought to do all he can to persuade the court to give him one last chance.

“He is making progress on his order. He is doing everything within his power to give himself a chance of avoiding custody."

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Judge Jeremy Jenkins ordered Tolman to serve 12 months in prison – but suspended the period for 18 months.

“You are now subject to two suspended sentences,” said Judge Jenkins.

“Should you breach this order you will come back before me as I will reserve the case to myself. If you force me to resentence you, I will send you into custody.

“This is your final warning, there will not be another.”

As part of the new order, Tolman will complete 10 rehabilitation activity days. The judge also ordered a curfew for three months, and disqualified him from driving for three years. He must pay £900 costs.