A police officer who found himself “outnumbered” while trying to arrest an aggressively restrained driver had to draw his Taser stun gun.
Daniel Bryant – who has never passed the driving test – was spotted at the wheel of a car by plainclothes policemen, who recognized him.
A few months ago the 31-year-old defendant was given a suspended prison sentence and banned on the road for dangerous driving. Sending Bryant to prison, a judge told him that he did not think the court’s orders applied to him.
Read more: See the latest cases from courts around Wales
Prosecutor Tom Scapens told Swansea Crown Court that the incident took place on the night of September 15 last year in the Blenheims area of Swansea.
The court heard that, just before 9 p.m., two plainclothes police officers in a “secret car” noticed an Audi A3 being driven erratically, and then drove to Lark Place and then to Robin Road. He went and followed him. Mr. Scapens said that when the target vehicle stopped, officers turned their car around to get a good look at the people inside. They saw that the defendant was the driver of an Audi, and that there were two other persons sitting in the back seats.
Bryant got out of the car and began to walk, and a constable followed him—when the officer told Bryant he was being arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified and held his hand, the defendant was “extremely angry. “And a scuffle ensued.
The court heard that people living in adjoining homes began to gather and that two passengers in Bryant’s car were also coming to the scene. The officer, “worried that he was outnumbered”, pulled his Taser. However Bryant ignored the weapon’s drawing and continued to resist the arrest, and at one stage the officer “bear hugged” him and carried him to the floor as the defendant kicked.
A short time later police backup arrived, and 6ft 3in Bryant was subdued and arrested.
Daniel Peter Bryant of Heol y Eos, Penllergaer, Swansea, had previously pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and driving without insurance when he appeared at the dock for sentencing. Those offenses put him in breach of an eight-month suspended sentence in April 2021 for dangerous driving. He had previously admitted to failing to surrender bail at Swansea Crown Court on 4 November last year. The court heard that he surrendered himself to the police on January 5 this year and was taken to the court.
As well as pleading guilty to dangerous driving, Bryant has pleaded guilty to a Cardiff Magistrates Court since July 2018 for driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence. He was banned from driving for 12 months as a “totter” after being caught speeding in 2020.
Stephen Thomas, for Bryant, said the defendant was realistic about his position, acknowledged there was no excuse for his behavior, and understood that he was facing a period of immediate custody.
He said his client had worked in the car industry for many years, which “kept him out of a lot of trouble” before losing his job due to the COVID pandemic. He said he later acquired work at Amazon through an agency, but withdrew the job offer when he disclosed the pending court case. The barrister said a day before she appeared in court last November, her former partner had stopped contacting her daughter and was under the influence of alcohol.
Judge Geraint Walters told Bryant that he had no business on the road, never had a full license and was then banned for dangerous driving and had to undergo an extended examination before legally getting behind the wheel. Seating was ordered.
He said that he was “aggressive and uncooperative” when police stopped him at Blenheims, and then failed to appear in court when he “no doubt saw Christmas and New Years” from handing himself in. Should have been massive earlier.
The judge said that the defendant appeared to have “grossly disobeyed” the orders of the court, and it was almost as if he felt they did not apply to him and that he could do whatever he wanted.
With exemptions for his guilty pleas, Bryant was sentenced to four months in prison for driving while disqualified and one month for failing to surrender in court.
The judge activated six months of the previously imposed eight-month suspended sentence, and ordered all sentences to run for 11 consecutive months. The defendant shall remain in custody for half the period before he is released on license to serve the remainder in the community.
Sending Bryant down, the judge warned him: “You need to understand that from now on, every time you’re caught driving while disqualified, it’s going to be custodial.”
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