Drug driving Connah’s Quay plumber handed fine and ban

A plumber at CONNAH’S Quay lost his driver’s license after admitting he was under the influence of drugs.

Stuart Wayne Morton, of Princes Street, appeared before Wrexham Magistrates Court on Friday.

The 42-year-old admitted he was driving an Opel Corsa on Mold Road in Connah’s Quay on December 12 when the level of benzoylecgonine in his blood exceeded the specified limit.

He was found to have 230 micrograms of the substance per liter of blood – the limit was 50.

Nicola Williams, the prosecutor, said around noon on the day in question that police saw the vehicle driven by the defendant.

He stopped and started to walk away from the vehicle, but police stopped him and noticed a smell of cannabis.

A roadside test gave a positive result for cannabis and cocaine.

After his arrest, blood samples were taken and the level of benzoylecgonine was confirmed, as well as 2 micrograms of cannabis – which is at the limit and has not led to a charge.

The court heard that Morton had previously been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs in 2018.

Wendy Shurrock, defending, said: “He was on his way to a client’s house to pay for a plumbing job and had stopped doing just that – there was no suggestion he was trying to get away from the police.

“He said he drank a lot of cocaine the night before and didn’t realize it would put him over the limit.” The reason he took the cocaine is because it was before Christmas, it was locked. He was having a hard time and said he was stressed.

“He lost his grandmother and grandfather in a care home to covid and needed a break – [he] chose the wrong path.

“He apologizes.”

Hilary Wiseman, chair of magistrates, said: “You were aware of the traffic rules – you don’t drive if you have drugs in your body. You have done this before and we have no choice but to ban you.

“It’s time for you to change. You’re not a child anymore.’

Morton was given a three-year driving ban and fined £120.

He was ordered to pay £85 costs and £34 victim allowance.

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