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Thursday, December 11, 2008, 15:58
A FATHER from Neath tried to kill himself by driving his wife’s car at 70mph down a mountain, a court heard.
Eighteen months later, Steven Vaughan Jeffreys found himself in court facing driving charges related to the failed suicide attempt.
Port Talbot magistrates heard his arrest came after police matched his blood with that found on the Rover’s airbag.
Jeffreys, of Lon Glyn Felin, later pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and driving without insurance.
Prosecuting, Jenni Harris said Mrs Jeffreys’s car was reported stolen on June 29 last year, and was found to have collided with a wall.
“It was written off”, said Ms Harris.
She said blood on the airbag was matched with the defendant in October this year. “He was arrested on November 18, and made full admissions to taking the car without his wife’s knowledge,” added Ms Harris.
Jeffreys, she said, told police he intended to commit suicide after arguing with his wife and had driven down the mountain at speed when the accident occurred.
A probation officer confirmed 37-year-old Jeffreys had told them he waited until his wife was asleep and then took her car.
“He drove it up a nearby mountain, and on driving down he crashed into a wall,” the officer said.
The court heard Jeffreys had reconciled with his wife, a social worker, following the incident, and lived with her and their five children. Magistrates also heard Jeffreys had suffered from depression for around nine years after his mother died suddenly, and was taking anti-depressants.
They were told he had expressed remorse for the incident.
Defending solicitor Mike Spring said Mrs Jeffreys was supportive of her husband and did not want to see the case against him proceed.
“She was a reluctant complainant in the matter,” he said.
Mr Spring added the crash happened in the early hours and in a location where it was unlikely others would have been around.
Jeffreys was given a 12-month community order and disqualified from driving for a year.
He must also complete 120 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £60.