A caravanning gardener ‘staggered’ away from his vehicle, after driving while more than double the drink drive limit in New Quay, a court heard.

James Philip Airey, aged 54, of 4 The Glade, Caerwnon Park, Builth Wells, pleaded guilty to driving while over the legal alcohol limit, when he appeared before Aberystwyth magistrates on Wednesday.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, told the court the defendant was seen driving a car in the vicinity of the football club at 7pm on June 14.

Witnesses had previously seen him drinking pints of larger outside the club, and became concerned at how close the vehicle got to people sitting on benches when it pulled over.

Airey was seen staggering as he walked away from the car, and police found he had 81mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Stephen Welch, defending, said Airey had a caravan in New Quay and had drunk on the journey down with his friend, who was to drive back to the caravan from the club.

Mr Welch said: “He took it upon himself to drive the car, he can’t explain why. His friend was going to drive them both back, there was no need to bring the car down. They could both have walked back.”

He added that his client, a self-employed gardener, realised his actions had been ‘stupid’, and apologised to the court.

“He should not have driven and realises it was an extraordinary and foolish decision to make.”

Magistrates disqualified Airey from driving for 20 months and fined him £240.

He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £24 victim surcharge.