A DRUG driver accused of fleeing police at 80mph and, after reaching a dead end, turning and striking a patrol car which blocked his path was spared jail by a judge on Friday.

Luke Jones-Maughan, 22, now of Darlington but working as a labourer in south Wales, was told by Judge Huw Rees at Caernarfon crown court : "I am impressed you come from a respectable family.”

He said :”You brought disgrace on your family.”

The defendant admitted driving a VW Golf dangerously at Gyffin, near Conwy, and after having excess cocaine.

Prosecutor Patrick Gartland said a PC was getting out of the patrol car when there was a collision and he fell to the ground. The police car was struck a second time.

The officer had minor injuries.

Mr Gartland said Jones-Maughan denied deliberately ramming the police vehicle. The collision, the defendant maintained, happened when he tried to pass it and he didn’t drive towards officers.

Police had earlier seen the car being driven slowly and then accelerating.

Elen Owen, defending, insisted :”This was a piece of recklessness as opposed to any attempt to injure the officer.”

Jones-Maughan’s car had been written off.

Counsel said he had been at his leaving party and took cocaine and alcohol. He “completely lost his head.” She added :”At the time he was driving he was in a state of panic. He was crying as he was driving along.”

Judge Rees said :”I am not going to ruin his life. This was exceptional behaviour from what I have been told.”

The sentence would allow him to keep his job.

A twelve months ban with an extended test was imposed and an eight months suspended jail term.

Jones-Maughan must do 180 hours unpaid work, pay £200 compensation to the injured PC, and £425 costs.