A MAN claimed he was driving to get away from two men who had assaulted him and threatened to damage his car.

Blackburn magistrates heard Darren McNeil was responsible for a head-on crash and a blood sample taken at hospital later showed he was double the legal drink-drive limit.

McNeil, 49, of Tottleworth Road, Rishton, admitted to driving with excess alcohol and without due care and attention. He was fined £180 with £85 costs and £120 compensation. He was banned from driving for 22 months.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the other motorist was driving along Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors, and as he approached the Albion pub a car pulled out of traffi,c heading in the opposite direction, and hit him head on.

"He said it all happened so quickly he didn't think he even had time to brake," said Miss Allan.

Richard Prew, defending, said his client had been driving for over 30 years and had a clean licence. McNeil had driven to the pub not intending to drive home but had been accosted by two men, one of whom punched him in the face.