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'Posting pictures on Facebook does not sound remorseful, it sounds boastful': Driver who overturned a car and then posted pictures of the crash online is jailed; Gareth Rowlands, 29, from Tredegar, admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for 20 months at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.

Byline: Suzanne Evans

A driver high on Valium overturned a car after hitting the kerb and ploughing into a block of flats and then posted the pictures on Facebook as a "lesson" to others.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard Gareth Rowlands, 29, was driving an Audi A4 which belonged to his girlfriend's husband.

Rachel Knight, prosecuting, said Lance Scheurer parked the [pounds sterling]9,000 car in Garden Street, Ebbw Vale, on the night of Sunday, August 31.

She said it was still there the following morning but by Tuesday it had disappeared.

Ms Knight told the court that Rowlands, of Cwmglas, Tredegar, and Natasha Scheurer had been to a party in Mountain Ash and he had gone back to Ebbw Vale to pick up the car.

But on his way back he lost control and was almost back where he started when he hit the kerb, mounted the pavement and overturned the car before crashing into a block of flats at Rowan Close, Mountain Ash. Rowlands took around 100 Valium tablets

The court heard he had driven the best part of 20 miles before the crash.

She said that during the party, Valium, cannabis, speed and another coded drug had been on offer and Rowlands had taken around 100 Valium tablets.

When police got to the scene, Rowlands had been dragged from the wreckage and was being tended to by paramedics.

He told police he didn't know what had happened and although a road side breath test proved negative Rowlands later refused to give blood for testing.

Rowlands admitted dangerous driving, driving without insurance and failing to provide a specimen of blood for analysis.

Andrew Davies, defending, said he had now stopped driving and was dealing with his substance addiction.

"He is making efforts to change his life around," he said.

Related: Locked up - the murderers, paedophiles, fraudsters and other criminals put behind bars 'This is a very, very bad case'

The court heard Rowlands had posted pictures of the crash on Facebook as a sign of remorse and as a "lesson" for others.

But Judge David Wynn Morgan told him: "Posting pictures on Facebook does not sound remorseful, it sounds boastful.

"The suggestion you were advising others not to do this is preposterous."

Judge Morgan jailed Rowlands for a total of 20 months and disqualified him from driving for five years.

He said: "This is a very, very bad case and one that demonstrates the derisory low penalty the court can impose for dangerous driving, which is two years. That is far too low for what you did that night."

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Publication:Wales Online (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 17, 2015
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