A driver who tried to outrun police officers is spending Christmas in prison.

William Johnson, 40, admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for six months and banned from driving for a year.

Swansea crown court heard on Friday how on October 25 last year police officers in Ceredigion had been alerted to a series of thefts from telephone boxes.

Officers in an unmarked police car came across a Volkswagen golf parked in Synod Inn at the junction of the A486 and the B4338.

Constable Leighton Phillips got out to speak to the driver but had to jump out of the way as Johnson suddenly raced away, colliding with the police car.

Johnson sped along the A486 towards Llandysul at 70mph and without lights, taking corners on the wrong side of the road.

The officers pursued Johnson, a construction worker, in their Volvo estate and Johnson gave up as they closed on him.

His barrister, Alex Greenwood, said Johnson had had the importance of driving correctly brought home to him recently after his 18 year old son was hospitalised following a car crash.

Judge Peter Heywood said anyone else using that stretch of road would have been put in danger.

Johnson, he said, had a poor record for driving offences, including driving while disqualified.

Johnson, a member of the travelling community, was ordered to take an extended driving test before getting his licence back.