A Helston man who crashed his car during the early hours had disappeared by the time police arrived, but was found 500 yards away asleep in a hedge.

Officers called to the road accident at Newtown roundabout in Penzance on February 18 found no-one in the crashed vehicle involved.

A police dog was called in to search for the missing driver and he was found 500 yards away in a dead-end road, asleep. He was John Fisher, aged 49, of Lady Street, Helston, who pleaded guilty at Truro’s magistrates’ court to drink driving. Alison May, for the CPS, said he was given a roadside breath test which he failed and later tested at 73 mcg, more than twice the legal limit.

When officers searched him he was in possession of a half empty bottle of vodka. He had a previous drink driving offence in 2000.

Mark Charnley, his solicitor, said he had been fighting an alcohol problem for ten years and had been dry for the last five. On this evening, he had the first drink in that time and it came about as a result of pressure at work and relationship problems.

He had been employed on various building sites around the county, and without his licence would immediately lose £10,000 a year following demotion. Fisher was banned from driving for 20 months and fined £495 with £135 costs.