A police officer had to jump out of the path of a dangerous driver as he made off from a fuel station.

Morgan Connor, of Glenview Avenue, Pembroke Dock, appeared from custody at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Monday, April 15.

Connor, 26, pleaded guilty to driving a VW Polo dangerously, otherwise than in accordance with a licence and failing to stop when required by an officer.

A charge of driving without insurance was withdrawn.

Abul Hussain, prosecuting, said police officers were refuelling at Johnston petrol station in the early hours of April 13, and noticed the smell of alcohol coming from Connor while in the shop.

Connor kept his car door ajar between himself and the officer who spoke to him, and stated he had been to pick up his girlfriend from town, but would not answer when asked his name.

He said: “What’s the problem? I need to be somewhere, I have to go, please don’t do this.”

One of the officers stood in front of his car and the other held his door handle as Connor closed the driver’s door.

The officer had to jump out of the way as Connor drove off, and her colleague who had hold of the car’s handle feared she would be crushed into a petrol pump, but managed to release her hand in time.

Mr Hussain said: “The defendant drove off. According to the officers he just pulled onto the main road without looking or stopping.”

The Polo was found abandoned on a grass verge, and Connor was arrested at his address.

The bench heard that one of the officers suffered bruising and muscular pain as a result of the incident, and both were left shocked.

The court heard that Connor drove off because he felt anxious when approached by the police and abandoned the car when it ran out of fuel.

Jonathan Webb, defending, said: “He accepts what he did was fool-hardy in the extreme and apologises through me to the officers for any fear or anxiety as a result of his actions.

“He should not have started his engine and driven off.”

Mr Webb added that Connor, who was applying to join the army, thought he was able to drive after securing insurance on the vehicle, but accepted he had not applied to get his licence reinstated.

Magistrates imposed an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to complete 180 hours of unpaid work and a 10-day rehabilitation activity.

Conner was ordered to pay £300 in costs, compensation and a surcharge, and disqualified from driving for 12 months. He will have to take an extended re-test before his licence is returned.

The chairman of the bench said: “This was a totally irresponsible act and you could have seriously injured one or two police officers or members of the public.”

“This was a very serious offence, and it could have had very serious consequences.”