A BUTCHER who was five times the legal limit when driving with an illegal drug in his system after vaping has been sentenced.

Christopher Hoggard, of Ryleyfield Road in Milnthorpe, gave a positive sample of 10 ug/L of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in his blood after being stopped by an officer on patrol on Brigsteer Road in Kendal just after 6pm on June 30, a court heard.

Prosecutor Peter Kelly told magistrates at South Cumbria Magistrates Court in Barrow that the defendant was stopped by the officer after her attention was alerted to a brake light that was out at the back of the defendant’s Skoda Octavia motor vehicle.

Mr Kelly said the 32-year-old had told the officer he’d been vaping.

Bradley Neal, representing the defendant via an online video link, said: “At this moment in time, he is going through a difficult period of time because he lost his business during the COVID-19 lockdown and he is now feeling that loss.

“He is in full-time employment as a butcher in a small rural village. There is no public transport to where he lives so he is going to have to make arrangements to get to and from work.

“He volunteers seven days a week for a Westmorland charity and he assists his mother who suffers from extreme arthritis with care and helping her to attend hospital appointments.”

The court heard Hoggard was a man of previous good character.

Chair of the bench magistrate Anne Howson disqualified Hoggard from driving for a mandatory minimum period of 12 months and ordered that he pay £569 in fines and court costs.