A dad who crashed his car after leading police on a high-speed chase through Powys, told arresting officers that someone test driving the car had been behind the wheel.

Gary Standley's driving was deemed dangerous enough that officers were told to halt their pursuit.

The 37-year-old committed a series of risky manoeuvres on the morning of October 14, 2023, after noticing officers follow him into Buttington services outside Welshpool.

Standley, from north Shropshire, admitted three charges before Welshpool magistrates on Tuesday (April 30), including driving without due care and attention, driving without insurance and no test certificate. A charge of failing to stop was withdrawn.


Prosecutor Stephen Davies said Standley was driving a Vauxhall Corsa on Rhallt Lane and Buttington Enterprise Park when PC Astley saw his vehicle travelling towards Welshpool.

“He pulled into the Buttington service station, pulled onto the garage forecourt then exited slowly, before accelerating away," Mr Davies said.

“He drove into the oncoming lane, overtook near junctions and caused one oncoming vehicle to brake sharply.

“He exited onto the A458 towards Middletown at speed. PC Astley lost sight of the vehicle and was told not to pursue.

“He later came across the same vehicle located near the Green Dragon Inn. The vehicle had tried to negotiate a right-hand turn, but hadn’t managed to and crashed.

“There was no occupant in the vehicle. Police were told by a witness that the driver had run off towards a church; the defendant was found eventually near the church."

“He admitted he owned the vehicle but said he was not the driver; and that someone had been test driving the car when he crashed.”

Representing Standley, of Langley Dale, Stoke on Tern, Rob Hanratty said his client had been going through a difficult period with his mental health, and that he lost control on the corner.

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“It is no excuse for driving inappropriately, but it’s also not dangerous driving, it’s careless,” he said.

Mr Hanratty said Standley had a clean driving licence.

Addressing the bench, Standley himself added that he’d recently broken up with his partner, the mother of his two children, after being together 10 years.

Magistrates told Standley they were putting nine points on his licence. They also fined him £40 and told him to pay a £16 surcharge and £85 costs.

They issued no separate penalties for the other two offences.