A SUSPECTED drink driver told police who arrived at his house after a smash he had just been about to report his car stolen.

Burnley magistrates heard how a vehicle had been found crashed into metal fencing at a health centre.

The keys were still inside, there was no damage to suggest it had been stolen and it was insured only to Stephen McIlmoyle.

A description of the driver of the abandoned vehicle given by a witness stated he had been wearing a black beanie hat – and McIlmoyle had answered the door with one on.

He was abusive to the police, tried to drink from a full, opened bottle of alcohol and was stopped and handcuffed.

The defendant was taken to the police station, where he failed to give a breath test.

McIlmoyle, of Birtwistle Avenue, Colne, admitted failing to provide a specimen for analysis, on February 9.

The defendant, who was banned for 20 months for drink driving in 2008, was this time ordered off the road for 40 months and was told to pay £437 in victim surcharge, fines and costs.

Philippa White, prosecuting, said police went to the address of the car's registered keeper, the lights were on and the door was opened by an intoxicated male, who identified himself as McIlmoyle. He was asked where his car was and said: “I was just about to ring you to report it stolen. I left it outside with the keys in and it's gone.”

Joanne Heseldon, for McIlmoyle, who works at Furnico in Colne, said he had asked to speak to a solicitor over the phone at the police station.

He then said he would provide a specimen, but was told it was too late.

The solicitor said: “He honestly believed he had the right to speak to the solicitor.”