Snowdon 4x4 Man Jailed

40 year old Craig Williams, 40, from Cheltenham, was convicted by a Caernarfon Crown Court jury of two offences of dangerous driving on 3,560ft Snowdon in September 2011

After the verdicts it was revealed to the jury that Williams had failed to answer bail for the start of the trial and that a man resembling him had been seen on CCTV in the early hours of Thursday placing a message on the window of the court stating:" Can't catch me, try to catch me if you can." 

Prosecutor Matthew Curtis said on Wednesday morning the defendant sent an email to his solicitors with a letter to the judge. 

Mr Curtis told Judge Merfyn Hughes QC:"The letter addressed to you indicated that the defendant was going to be at the summit of Mount Snowdon as the verdicts were going to be returned." 

There was a suicide note in the form of a long poem.

Mr Curtis said police were sceptical of the suggestion of a suicide attempt but couldn't ignore it and a search was started. A member of the Llanberis mountain rescue team ascended to the summit of Snowdon. "There was packed snow and ice in areas," counsel said.

The North Wales police helicopter also flew from its Rhuddlan base to Snowdon and searched the railway line, footpaths and ridges. The cost for 50 minutes was £1,767. On Thursday morning Williams was found sleeping in a vehicle in Snowdonia. 

The court heard that the bill for repairs to the Snowdon mountain railway and recovery of the vehicle following his two ascents in a 4x4 amounted to thousands of pounds. 

Williams was jailed for six months for the first count of dangerous driving on September 3, 2011and ten months for the second offence later that month. He admitted failing to answer to bail and was jailed for six months. But the sentences were ordered to be served consecutively making a total jail term of 22 months. 

He was also banned from driving for three years and until he takes an extended driving test. 

The jury had heard how on the first ascent the modified Vauxhall Frontera reached 200 metres from the summit. The second time Williams got to the top. He claimed, however, that a prankster had taken his vehicle on this occasion.