A CHESTER man told by a police officer not to drive in his car went and did so as soon as the officer left the scene.

Shane McCabe, 37, of Birch Road, also refused to give a breath sample to police, saying: "I am not going to do that because I have been on the p*** all day."

Appearing at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, November 2, McCabe was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years and a three-year driving ban.

Prosecuting, Adam Warner told the court it was 8.30pm on October 16 when police were called to an address and found McCabe acting aggressively in the front garden.

The police officer spoke to McCabe, warning him not to drive in his Ford Focus. McCabe walked off and the police officer asked the force to monitor the vehicle.

The officer was later told the car was being driven on Overleigh Roundabout and McCabe was the driver.

McCabe was asked to provide a breath sample but refused and was arrested.

His speech was slurred and could not focus.

He had numerous offences for drink driving in the past but none for the last 10 years.

Defending, Steve Coupe said McCabe had made a genuine effort over the past few years and now had a partner with three children.

A report from probation heard McCabe had lost both his parents and described him as the lynchpin for his family.

The stress had meant he had turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism and, while his record was described as 'unenviable', he had matured greatly in the last eight years, but since the death of his mum the alcohol usage had crept up again.

He had planned on the night of the incident to drive to his sister's place in Blacon. He knew he was over the limit but he was emotionally withdrawn and did not consider the consequences.

Mr Coupe asked the court for McCabe to be dealt with "robustly in the community" rather than through a custodial sentence.

As well as the suspended sentence, McCabe must complete 20 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and complete a drink impaired programme.

A drink-drive referral course to cut the length of his driving ban was also offered to McCabe, who must pay £85 court costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Chair of magistrates Jean Bamford told him: "I hope this has been a wake-up call for you."