A ROOFER found sitting in his van outside his former partner’s home refused to take a breath test because he did not believe he needed to.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard police did not have any evidence of Mark Smith actually driving the vehicle but were entitled to ask for a breath sample because he was in charge of it.

Smith, of Manxman Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen.

The 45-year-old was fined £120 with £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge.

The court heard his licence was endorsed with 10 penalty points.

Gareth Price, defending Smith, said he hoped to persuade the magistrates to mark the offence with 10 points rather than a driving ban.

“It is clear there was some misunderstanding on his part as to whether the officers were entitled to ask him to provide a sample,” said Mr Price.

Mr Price added: “He didn’t appreciate the significance of being found in the vehicle.

“He was effectively asking the officers why they wanted to breathalyse him.”

Mr Price said Smith was hoping to get back into work as a builder and roofer and the loss of his licence would jeopardise that.