A man involved in a bizarre series of incidents whipped the bonnet of his car, Basil Fawlty style.

At one stage, Ian Rowlinson of Chester stood on the bonnet and smashed his own windscreen.

He first of all crashed his car through the metal gates of Erddig country park in Wrexham and then drove at a woman walking with her children and dogs.

The 45-year-old crashed through a barrier and when police later followed him on the Wrexham to Chester Road, he waved a metal pole aggressively out of the sun roof.

Metal pole

At one stage during the bizarre incidents he got a metal pole and started hitting the bonnet of his own car with it, just like John Cleese in the Fawlty Towers TV comedy series.

He also rammed a police officer’s car in a bid to get away, causing substantial damage, Mold Crown Court was told on Tuesday (June 21).

Rowlinson, of Pyecroft Street in Handbridge, had mental health difficulties and did not recall anything of the incident – until he was tazered by police – after taking cocaine and cannabis.

He admitted dangerous driving and criminal damage but escaped an immediate prison sentence.

Suspended sentence

The court heard how he had since been placed on a suspended sentence for an incident involving an axe in Chester.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said he was being sentenced piece-meal and it may be that he would have gone straight to prison if everything had been sentenced together.

Rowlinson received a 16 month prison sentence suspended for two years on condition that he follows a mental health programme and rehabilitation.

He was banned from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended driving test before he drives again.

Bizarre behaviour

Judge Rowlands said it was bizarre behaviour and if it was not so serious it would be reminiscent of a television programme some years ago.

He smashed through the gates, drove towards a lady who was with her sons and her dogs, he crashed through a barrier and got out of the car and started beating the bonnet.

When police arrived he drove at them at speed but they managed to avoid a collision. He tried again and reversed at speed at the police car which was forced partly on to the pavement and officers feared it might topple over. The police car had been badly damaged when it was rammed.

Later on the A483 he waved a metal pole out of the sun roof in an aggressive manner before forcing his way through stationary traffic and getting away. He was tazered by police in Handbridge and was aggressive on his arrest.

Psychotic features

The judge said it was accepted that he suffered from bipolar disorder with psychotic features together with a substance abuse disorder. He had taken cocaine and cannabis which had contributed to his behaviour.

Prosecuting barrister Emmalyne Downing told how a woman walking at Erddig with her two sons and her dogs on April 1 was shocked when the defendant’s car crashed through the gates of Erddig Park. They cost £10,000 to repair.

He drove directly at the pedestrians, they managed to jump out of the way, but the car was so close to the woman that it struck a puppy she was holding. She felt helpless and feared that her children would be run over.

There followed an incident where he got out of the vehicle and started to beat the bonnet with an implement. At one stage he stood on the bonnet and smashed the windscreen. He then got a crowbar out of the boot and started smashing the windscreen again.

Drove at police

There followed two incidents when he drove at police. Officers were able to avoid a crash on the first occasion but were struck the second time.

An incident on the A548 when he waved a metal pole through the sunroof was captured on CCTV.

Defending barrister Brett Williamson said Rowlinson client was in a poor mental health state, he was not well that day and he had been admitted to a secure hospital the day after his arrest. The defendant had longstanding mental health problems, he explained.

He was currently on a suspended sentence from Chester Crown Court, he had been doing very well and had stopped taking drugs.

It was accepted it was serious and it was a matter of good fortune that no one had been seriously hurt, said Mr Williamson.