A WREXHAM man was caught flouting his driving ban while he was eight times the drug-drive limit, a court heard.

Jaroslaw Konopka, of Valley Way, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Monday.

The 35-year-old had admitted offences of drug-driving, driving whilst disqualified and without insurance.

Prosecutor Adam Warner told the court that on May 7 this year, police were notified about a vehicle was being driven "erratically" by the defendant.

He was stopped on the A55 eastbound between Broughton and Chester and was believed to have been exceeding the speed limit.

When checks were carried out, it emerged Konopka was a disqualified driver and had no insurance on the vehicle.

A blood test also revealed he had greater than 400 microgrammes of benzoylecgonine (a cocaine breakdown product referred to as BZE) per litre of blood - the limit being 50.

Mr Warner told the court Konopka's latest offences happened just five months into a year-long ban.

A probation officer told the court: "He said he had taken the drugs the day before because he'd broken up with his partner and that had really upset him.

"I am not sure he appreciated the seriousness of the offence and how seriously the court will take the matter."

Gary Harvey, defending, told the court: "The reality is, does he go to prison or does he keep his liberty?

"The offences are clearly serious.


"He told me he had driven to the seaside and was stopped in the evening."

Mr Harvey conceded that by his own admission, the defendant had driven some distance under the influence of drugs - not to mention his ban and lack of insurance.

"He did express genuine remorse," Mr Harvey explained.

"He was having difficulties with his relationship at the time and relapsed into drugs."

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Mr Harvey invited the court to "put some faith" into his client by allowing him to keep his liberty and deal with his issues by working with the probation service as part of a sentence in the community.

The magistrates, after retiring to "think long and hard" about how to deal with him, handed Konopka an 18 month community order with 300 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.

The defendant was banned from driving for 42 months and must pay a £250 fine, £140 victim surcharge and £85 costs.