A MAN drove home from the pub while over the limit, just weeks after he had been banned for drink driving.

Jamie Baker, 29, was driving a Fiat Ducato van when he was stopped by police at Cristionydd, Penycae at around 1.15am on March 18.

Rhian Jackson, prosecuting at Wrexham Magistrates Court, said Baker told police he had been to a pub in Johnstown with relatives and had drunk around five pints of Fosters lager.

Baker, a plasterer from North Avenue in Ruabon, told how the van belonged to his employer and he had decided to drive home after the rest of the group had left.

He had not considered any other way of getting home and told officers he had been an “idiot”, Miss Jackson said.

District Judge Gwyn Jones heard that Baker had given a test reading in custody of 56 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35mcg.

Miss Jackson told how Baker had been disqualified for two years on February 7 for drink driving, and had given a reading of 93mcg on that occasion.

She said Baker had not informed his employer of his previous conviction and had been driving a works van when stopped on March 18.

The court heard that the distance from the pub to Baker’s home was around a mile-and-a-half.

Baker pleaded guilty at the hearing to drink driving, having no insurance and driving while disqualified.

He also admitted failing to attend a probation service appointment on March 8.

Stephen Edwards, defending, said Baker had put his job before the unpaid work.

He added he wanted to dispel the notion that Baker was driving around in the van.

Baker had not come clean with his employer about the previous conviction, but then decided to be honest and had been told he could keep his job and did not need to use the van.

On March 17 he had been a passenger in the van with a colleague and had gone to the pub after finishing a job.

Baker had thought the driver would drop him off, but his colleague told him words to the effect of “you’re less drunk than me, you drive”.

It was no excuse, Mr Edwards said, adding: “These were idiotic actions for which he has put himself at risk of going to custody.”

The district judge told Baker that he had flagrantly ignored a court order by driving, noting the short distance between where the van was park and his home.

This showed stupidity on Baker’s part and the matter justified immediate custody, but District Judge Jones drew back given the timely guilty plea and the fact that Baker had a job.

He imposed a total of 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Baker was disqualified from driving for 36 months, was fined £200 and must also play £85 in prosecution costs and a £115 surcharge.