A MAN failed a breathalyser as he drove away from a memorial service for his uncle who had died in Australia.

Blackburn magistrates heard it was the third body blow in a short period of time for Robert Edward Hirst who had been a reader at the service.

Two weeks earlier he had been the victim of a robbery and the day before he was breathalysed he lost his job.

Hirst, 25, of Vancouver Quay, Salford, and formerly of The Hazels, Wilpshire, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. He was fined £120 with £85 costs and £30 victim surcharge and banned from driving for 17 months.

Julian Gaskin, defending, detailed his client's run of misfortunes and said he found being a reader at the memorial service "extremely depressing and emotional"

"He accepts that he made the foolish decision to drive," said Mr Gaskin. "He felt he was okay to drive but accepts his judgement was clouded by the emotion of the day."