A classic car club member caught more than double the drink-drive limit has been handed a 20-month driving ban.

John Bowen of Hurst Road, West Molesey, told Staines Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, April 12, that he had been drinking after a hospital visit when a friend called to tell him police were near his lock-up.

Fearing it had been broken into, he drove to garages the in Belvedere Gardens, West Molesey, where police had been seen.

The court heard police watched Bowen’s red Citroen drive slowly towards them before he attempted a three point turn.

When they approached to speak with him, his speech was slurred and he smelt of alcohol.

Turner admitted he had drunk a few beers and whiskies 30 minutes previously and a breathalyser test showed he had 74mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, above the legal limit of 35mg.

Bowen told the court: “I’d returned from a CT scan at the Royal Marsden Hospital and had just received news of a friend of mine who had just passed of cancer as well, and had a few drinks.”

He said it was stupid of him to drive his car, that he did not condone drink driving and that he regretted it very much.

Bowen was handed a £250 fine, £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge on top of the disqualification.