A QUALIFIED plumber with an ‘appalling’ driving record has been given a final chance by a court after he was convicted of his fourth drug driving offence in the space of four years.

Bradley Foster was caught driving whilst over twice the legal zero-tolerance limit for Cocaine, South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court heard.

Gillian Sutton, Chair of the bench, said Foster’s driving convictions were some of the worst she had ever seen.

Ms Sutton said: “If someone picked up a copy of the newspaper, I am sure people would think you needed to be locked up and behind bars.

“This is as bad as it gets.”

Prosecuting the case, Lee Dacre said analysis from a drugs wipe test at the roadside revealed the defendant had been driving with 21 ug/L of the Class A drug in his system. The legal zero-tolerance limit for Cocaine is 10 ug/L.

It comes after road traffic officers stopped the defendant whilst driving a Volvo S60 on Sedbergh Road in Kendal on December 16 last year, Mr Dacre said.

The court heard Foster, of Westfield Terrace, Main Road, Flimby in Maryport, had been banned for three years and made the subject of a suspended sentence order for another drug driving offence with Cocaine imposed in February this year - pre-dating this offence.

Mr Dacre said Foster had two other convictions for drug driving, as well as another previous conviction for driving whilst disqualified dating back to March 2021.

Concluding his opening of the case to the court, Mr Dacre commented: “Lessons have clearly not been learned.”

However, in mitigation, Trystan Roberts argued that the defendant had learnt from his mistakes having been ‘highly compliant’ on his current suspended sentence order.

Mr Roberts said: “He was using Cocaine on a significant level to a great extent to get himself going to work. He is a qualified plumber and has recently quit his job to focus on his recovery, which is going very well.

“He is going to have to jump that extra hurdle and show the DVLA that he is free of drugs and capable of driving again.”

Magistrates banned Foster for an additional 48-months for the drug driving offence in December 16 on June 26 and imposed a 12-month community order with one requirement to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Ms Sutton added: “You are 25-years old and have an appalling record. You have come right to the limit of being sent to custody.

"You really should be going to prison today. Your family are in tears at the back of court. You must be really proud of yourself.

“If you get behind the wheel of any vehicle, you will be going through the back door.

"Society does not want to see people like you driving on our roads when you have been convicted on four previous occasions.”