A MAN who drove dangerously over five miles in North Wales escaped immediate imprisonment on Wednesday.

Benjamin Brian Jukes, 37, admitted dangerous driving, drug driving and possessing cannabis in October of last year.

He also admitted a separate drug driving offence in October - and an earlier offence of affray in June.

But Mold Crown Court heard he could have been affected by a psychotic episode.

Prosecuting barrister Sarah Badrawy told the court how on October 17 - starting at about 13:45 - North Wales Police received numerous 999 calls regarding an Astra being driven dangerously and erratically over a prolonged period.

At Penrhos Road in Bangor he pulled out of Coed Mawr directly in front of another driver, causing him to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

The driver travelled behind the defendant who collided with the pavement on numerous occasions and drifted onto the opposite side of the road a number of times.

After passing Ysbyty Gwynedd, the defendant nearly collided with parked vehicles, swerving violently to avoid crashing into them.

He veered completely onto the wrong side of the road and straight towards an oncoming vehicle, the driver of which was forced to mount the kerb to avoid being hit.

On the A487 Felinheli bypass towards Plas Menai the defendant overtook a couple at speed very closely and pulled in sharply in front of them, causing the driver to take emergency action to avoid a collision.

The defendant's car was said to be veering over the road, swerving from side to side and drove on the grass verge.

Another witness said she saw him driving dangerously and erratically further along the A487, in the direction of Caernarfon.

"She observed him drastically slowing down and then speeding up again for no apparent reason. He collided with the kerb on the nearside on at least four separate occasions and, as he came closer to Caernarfon town centre, he fully mounted the pavement with both nearside wheels on two separate occasions," said Miss Badrawy.

He approached the roundabout outside Morrison’s Supermarket where he crashed into the rear of a stationary vehicle, which was waiting at the give way junction to join the roundabout.

A police officer was approaching a left-hand bend when the defendant come around the corner with half of his vehicle on the wrong side of the road.

The officer had to perform an emergency stop in order to avoid colliding with the defendant.

Jukes narrowly avoided a collision with the police vehicle by swerving back towards the correct side of the road.

Miss Badrawy said the officer turned around and saw the defendant’s vehicle turn right at a roundabout and clip the kerb.

It was clear to him that the defendant was trying to get away and a pursuit was in progress. He was travelling at speeds of between 70mph and 80mph trying to get away but due to the volume of traffic the Astra was naturally blocked in.

He had driven dangerously for some 30 minutes.

The defendant tested positive for cannabis and was found to have nine milligrammes compared to the legal limit of two.

He admitted driving dangerously and was released under investigation - but then on October 8 he was seen parked on a grass verge next to Bangor Road in Felinheli. The vehicle had broken down and he was found again to be over the cannabis limit - with 10 milligrammes.

The court heard that at about 6pm on Thursday, June 28, 2018, the defendant entered the Co-Op store, Station Road, Llanrug, Caernarfon when it was busy with with customers, including children.

He became involved in an altercation with another male in the store and both were shouting and swearing at each other and Jukes telling to "come outside."

The defendant but returned a short time later holding a metal pole in his right hand. He banged it on the ground while walking around on the pavement and road outside.

Staff were left feeling shocked by the incident and concerned for the safety of those within the store.

Interviewed, he admitted what he had done but said he believed the other man was going to kill him.

He said he got the pole from his works van parked nearby.

Jukes of Ipswich Walk, Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham,received a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was banned from driving for five years and must take an extended driving test.

The judge, Mr Recorder John Philpotts said that he was being given "an extraordinary opportunity" which would not be available to him again.

He had to decide whether it was custody or whether he could acceded to the defence request for a suspended sentence.

By the narrowest of margins he had decided to suspend it.

Defending barrister Matthew Curtis said that some 18 months ago his client had a psychotic episode which may well have affected him at the time of the offences.

He had no previous convictions and had admitted all charges.

His client had taken steps to address his mental health issues and he had secured supported accommodation.

Sadly his father was suffering from a terminal illness.

Mr Curtis said that the probation service recommended a community order with a number of requirements which would be of benefit to him and to society.