A DRINK driver was caught in possession of cannabis after colliding with parked cars, then fleeing the scene of an accident.

Matthew John Brereton, 27, of Lyneal, Ellesmere,  was over the limit when travelling in his mother’s VW Passat in Overton during the early hours of July 12.

Prosecuting, Matthew Ellis told Wrexham Magistrates Court: “Police received a call that a vehicle had collided with parked cars and driven off from the centre of Overton.

“The defendant had clipped a corner and collided with a Peuguot, which collided with a Nissan, which then collided with a parked Ford Fiesta. A passenger got out of the car and went to get her bag out to exchanged details, but the defendant drove off.

“The passenger remained at the scene and the vehicle was found further down Parkside Road. It had collided with an Alfa Romeo outside Meadowview, and had extensive damage to the front.

“The defendant was found two miles further down the road in Shropshire, intoxicated and in possession of cannabis. He had no insurance and no MOT certificate.

Mr Ellis added: “He’d consumed two cans of cider at a friend’s house, then drank lager at a pub in Ellesmere, but didn’t think he was drunk.

“He said he thought he had been changing a compact disc, heard a big bang and saw smoke everywhere. He said he was terrified and knows he should have waited for police.”

The police later picked Brereton up at the side of the road, and he was found to have 45 microgrammes in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 33.

Defending, Euros Jones said: “The irony is Mr Brereton hates drink drivers, and unfortunately, rather foolishly, took a risk.

“It is no excuse, but he has had a terrible year, the family business went under, he lost his job, split up with his partner and became homeless, moving back with his parents.

“The cannabis was his ex-partner’s, and Mr Brereton is a named driver on his mother’s insurance, which expired with the MOT two weeks previous. No-one checked the automatic renewal and as the account was frozen, the money was not paid.”

Brereton was banned from driving for a year, and given a 12 month community order. He was fined £110, and told to pay compensation of £750. In addition he will pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.