A ROBBER who threatened to smash a man’s knee cap with a claw hammer before leading police on a high-speed night-time chase in the victim’s stolen car has been jailed for more than four and a half years.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how 29-year-old Joshua James out-sped police through Abergavenny, and later kicked a policeman in the chest when they caught up with him at home.

James was high on drugs when he banged on the door of an acquaintance’s town home in the early hours of January 19, 2020.

Prosecutor Nicholas Gedge said the defendant had demanded drugs and said he would smash their windows.

“The complainant thought he was under the influence but it wasn’t alcohol,” he said. “The defendant then produced a small claw hammer and said he would smash his kneecaps.

“He told him he had lied to him about not having drugs.”

James then grabbed the man’s car keys and drove off in his Citroen C2.

Police were called and spotted the car driving towards them on a residential road just before 3am, but the defendant turned off the car lights and raced off on the wrong side of the road before losing his pursuers.

Officers tracked him to his Abergavenny home, though, where he lashed out and kicked an officer after being woken up.

James, who gave his current address as Commercial Street, Risca, admitted charges of robbery, dangerous driving, assaulting an emergency worker and resisting arrest.

The court was told he had worked as a window cleaner and had struggled with drug problems.

But jailing him for four years and seven months, Judge Jeremy Jenkins told him: “You threatened a man with a hammer and said you would kneecap him and you kicked a police officer in the chest.

“It is intolerable that emergency workers doing their job for the community have to put up with violence from people like you.”

James, who has 11 previous convictions for 24 offences, including robbery, attempted robbery and assault, was also banned from driving for four years and three months, and told he would serve half his jail term before being released on licence.