A 48-year-old drink driver who was convicted after a trial has been handed a suspended sentence and three year ban.

Stewart Gray was also ordered to pay £3,310 prosecution costs, due to a trial being necessary.

Gray was more than twice the drink-drive limit when police spoke to him in a car park in Santon.

Magistrates also ordered him to take an extended driving test at the end of his ban and complete a drink-driving rehabilitation course.

Prosecuting advocate Barry Swain told the court that an off-duty police officer saw Gray driving a Hyundai Corner on June 9, at 4am.

He described the defendant’s vehicle as wandering across the carriageway and nearly colliding with a kerb.

He followed Gray to a car park at Murray’s Motorcycle Museum where he parked.

The off-duty officer called for assistance and uniformed officers arrived.

The defendant was described as slurring his words and smelling of alcohol, and was asked to take a breathalyser test.

He then pulled out a hip flask and said: ‘Is this where the hip flask comes in?

‘I know I’m going to fail this.’

The test showed as above the legal alcohol limit and Gray added: ‘I told you so.’

He was subsequently arrested and taken to police headquarters, where a further test was taken and produced a reading of 80, more than twice the legal limit of 35.

In court, Gray pleaded not guilty to drink-driving and a summary court trial was held where he was found guilty.

Defence advocate Laurence Vaughan-Williams said that Gray had been involved in a row with his wife, so had decided to drive his car to the Fairy Bridge.

He said he had then decided to ‘bed down’ for the night in his car in the museum car park.

Mr Vaughan-Williams said that Gray had not believed he was over the limit and had claimed that he had just had a drink from his hip flask while parked.

The advocate said that this was known as ‘a hip flask defence’, but unfortunately expert evidence had not supported it.

Mr Vaughan-Williams said that there may have been an element of self-deception, whereby defendants deny any opposing evidence and convince themselves they are innocent.

The advocate said that the inevitable driving ban would have a devastating effect upon his client as he was wheelchair-bound and his wife could not drive.

Magistrates sentenced Gray to three months’ custody, suspended for 12 months, and also made him the subject of a three-month suspended sentence supervision order.

He will pay the prosecution costs at a rate of £10 per week, deducted from benefits.