A former soldier still suffering the trauma of what she witnessed on duty in Afghanistan suffered a flashback as she fled with her sister who had come under threat, a court heard.

Jessica Muircroft, 25, decided to drive her sister to safety – but she was three times the drink-drive limit.

Muircroft admitted driving with 109 microgrammes of alcohol in her breath, against the legal limit of 35.

District judge Gwyn Jones said she had served her country, now worked for a respected employer, and he would depart from sentencing guidelines which suggested a community order.

She was fined £600 with £85 costs and a £60 surcharge and she was banned from driving for 26 months.

Prosecutor James Neary told Flintshire Magistrates Court yesterday that police in Chester Road East, Shotton, came across a Renault Meganne which was damaged and parked at an angle at 11.20pm on August 5. Muircroft provided a positive breath test.

Ian Barnes, defending, said she was a woman of good character who had served her country.

She had served in Afghanistan and found it very difficult to talk about some of the things she had seen which still affected her wellbeing.

But she did not allow that to hold her back, was in full-time employment and was in a difficult financial position after a relationship breakdown.

That night she and her sister had been to a party, they were relaxing and she had no plans to drive.

But threats were made to kill her sister – an issue which was yet to go before the court.

Muircroft, of Milner Avenue in Birkenhead, felt the sister was in great danger and made a decision to flee with her.

“Her instincts were to get out of there and protect her sister,” he said.

Probation officer Tracey Flavell told the Mold court Muircroft was very ashamed of her behaviour.

She was in full-time employment having left the army last year after eight years of service.

There were issues with regard to her emotional wellbeing as a result of her active service, said Mrs Flavell.