A PENSIONER, lauded in court as one of the key figures in the development of powdered milk, has pleaded guilty to drink driving.

Appearing at Wrexham Magistrates, Raymond Pierce, of Tattersall Stables, Wynnstay Hall Estate, Ruabon, admitted being over the drink drive limit when officers stopped his BMW 3 Series on the A539 close to his home.

Justin Espie, prosecuting, said Pierce, 77, who still works as a research chemist, gave a positive roadside test of 47 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath on February 20. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

Stephen Edwards, defending, said Pierce was a talented research chemist who had worked on the development of Marvel Milk powder and now worked on developing new margarines.

"He has made a positive contribution to food research in the UK and is not a gentleman comfortable in the confines of the court," said Mr Edwards.

Mr Edwards said, Pierce, who has two great grandchildren, had meant some friends after work in The Boat in Erbistock.

He had drunk two glasses of wine in a short space of time and on an empty stomach and "didn't for one minute believe he was over the limit".

District judge Gwyn Jones banned Pierce from driving for 12 months and fine him £500. He will also pay £85 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.