A DISQUALIFIED driver who was found close to a crashed car with a bottle of vodka in one hand and the car key in the other refused to give a breathalyser.

Blackburn magistrates heard Craig Martin Rainford denied being the driver and claimed he had simply come across the vehicle which had crashed into a hedge on Burnham Gate, Burnley.

But when he appeared in court Rainford, 32,of Elm Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to disqualified driving and failing to provide. He was jailed for 18 weeks and banned from driving for 50 months.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, gave details of the defendant's record which included numerous convictions for excess alcohol, disqualified driving, dangerous driving and unauthorised vehicle taking, many of which had resulted in more than eight custodial sentences over the last 13 years.

When he was interviewed Rainford said he had been to a friend's house and had gone to get more drink when he came across the car crashed into the hedge.