AN Ellesmere Port man who fled his car after crashing it was more than three times the drink-drive limit.

Gareth Robert Gilbert Owen, 28, of Milton Road, was arrested after being chased by a witness into a cul-de-sac and later caught by police.

Owen, appearing at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, July 24, pleaded guilty to drink-driving and was handed a 26-month driving ban, as well as a 12-month community order.

Prosecuting, Debbie Byrne said Owen crashed his blue Ford Fiesta early on May 10 in New Lincoln Road following a domestic argument with his mum.

One witness heard the sound of a crash and saw the vehicle with no-one around, while another witness had heard tyres screeching and an impact sound.

They saw a man running off from the car and chased him into a cul-de-sac, but lost him.

Police attended and the witness positively identified the man they caught as the driver, who was Owen.

In interview, Owen initially claimed his brother had been driving, but that was not the case.

He gave a reading of 110 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath, compared to the legal limit of 35.

He had no previous convictions.

Defending, Richard Sibeon said Owen was a carer who had been working hard during the lockdown and had not intended to drive that evening.

The car crash was not that serious as he had clipped a kerb, after having drunk "about seven beers". Owen had thought he was in a "reasonably fit" state to drive, but clearly was not.

The incident had been a trigger for him to seek help from his GP, as he acknowledged he was at a low point in his mental health and had been drinking to excess.

He was still doing his job, which he enjoyed doing, and expressed remorse for what he had done.

Chair of magistrates Dr Gwyneth Edwards told Owen: "You made a very foolish decision that day.

"In a way, it's fortunate you had that accident so soon after getting in, but then you tried to run off and deflect blame."

Owen was put on a 12-month community order to include 25 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement, and must complete 80 hours unpaid work.

His 26-month driving ban could be reduced by a quarter upon successful completion of a drink-drive rehabilitation course.

He must also pay a £95 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.