A MAN from Shap caught drug-driving three times in eight weeks must serve a jail sentence he was given for the crimes, a judge has ruled.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Joshua Mossman was "lucky" to avoid prison for repeated offending in a Volkswagen Golf.

When Mossman, 22, failed to complete a single one of the 200 hours of unpaid work he was given by magistrates, he was brought back to court last month and jailed for 20 weeks.

His appeal against the severity of that sentence was heard at the crown court by Judge James Adkin and two magistrates.

They heard how, on May 11, 2018, Mossman drove with a banned metabolite in his system near Penrith.

On May 23, he was caught driving the Golf while unfit through drugs in the town.

And on July 7, on Kendal's Aynam Road, Mossman drove the same car while 36 times the legal limit for a metabolite of class A ecstasy.

After breaching an initial punishment, Mossman received an extended community order comprising 200 hours' unpaid work, and a three-year driving ban.

"Everyone gets credit of one hour just for turning up to the induction appointment," barrister Brendan Burke told Mossman's appeal hearing. "He didn't even do that. The hours (completed) are zero."

Nor had Mossman, previously of Yew Tree Crescent, Shap, but now of no fixed abode, reported any difficulties to his probation service supervisor.

In mitigation Anthony Parkinson said Mossman was "between addresses" late last year and had difficulties travelling to Kendal for his unpaid work. "This really led to him putting his head in the sand," said Mr Parkinson.

Mossman had no previous convictions, and had spent Christmas and new year in custody.

But after hearing submissions, the appeal panel concluded that his 20-week prison sentence should remain in force.

"It seems to us that this conduct after the (original) sentence was imposed can properly be described as wilful and persistent non-compliance," said Judge Adkin. "In the context of this case, our judgement is that the defendant was very lucky to escape an immediate custodial sentence in the first place."