A MOTORING enthusiast filmed executing high-speed "drift" manoeuvres on a Haverfordwest roundabout has been given a 12-week suspended prison sentence and banned from driving for 12 months.

Ben Griffiths, 21, of Belfry Close, Milford Haven, pleaded guilty to driving his black BMW 318 dangerously on the B4239 Cardigan Road roundabout when he appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday (April 26).

He has no previous convictions.

Griffiths was tracked down by police after footage of the incident, which took place at around midnight on November 1 last year, was posted on social media sites.

Prosecutor Ellie Morgan showed Magistrates the footage, in which Griffiths’ BMW can be seen moving at high speed, engine revving and tyres squealing, then twice "drifting" around the roundabout sideways, the front of the car facing the roundabout and the rear pointing towards the left-hand grass verge.

"Police tracked Griffiths' BMW to a lock-up at Boulston Farm in Uzmaston, and a forensic examination was carried out," Ms Morgan said.

"Defects were found in both of the car's rear tyres, which made the vehicle un-roadworthy and could have caused the tyres to burst.

"Someone of Griffiths' experience should have known that vehicle shouldn't have been on the road.

"Also, the car had been re-fitted with a three litre engine, a modification that hadn't been disclosed to the defendant's insurance company."

In interview following his arrest, Griffiths gave a prepared statement saying the BMW was used for specialist "drift" events at Pembrey Racecourse.

"I was in control of my car [during the incident] because of my off-road experience of drifting," said Griffiths. "I was alone in the car, I was carrying out a one-off test manoeuvre and I didn't put anyone else in danger."

Mark Layton, defending, said Griffiths was a "hard-working" man with a full-time job at a local garage and a "keen interest in cars".

"Off-road drifting is his active hobby, and in a moment of madness he drove his taxed and insured car around Haverfordwest in an appalling manner," Mr Layton said.

"It was absolutely stupid behaviour on his part, and he deeply regrets it. He often has to drive cars as part of his job, so a disqualification will mean he can't fulfil all the responsibilities of his role. He hopes his promising career isn't going to be destroyed by his actions on the evening in question."

In addition to the driving ban and the suspended sentence, Magistrates ordered Griffiths to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £165 court costs.

"You are lucky you didn't kill yourself or someone else," said the Lead Magistrate.

"You are also lucky to be walking out of here today, instead of down the stairs to the cells."