A VOLUNTEER minibus driver was nearly three times the legal limit when he was breathalysed in the Lake District just before noon.

Blackburn magistrates heard Howard Boudfewyn was acting as back-up driver for a party of walkers and was not carrying passengers at the time.

Boudfewyn, 50, of Elizabeth Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 10 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, an alcohol treatment requirement and 90 hours unpaid work. He was banned from driving for 24 months and ordered to pay £85 costs and £95 victim surcharge.

Scott Parker, prosecuting, said at 11.30pm Doudewyn was seen driving a minibus in the Langdale Valley. He collided with a fence, causing damage, and then drove off to a nearby campsite.

"He was spoken to by the owner of the fence, who had followed him, and then tried to drive to Little Langdale but got stuck in a grass verge," said Mr Parker.

Daniel Frazer, defending, said his client had served eight years as a Royal Marines and that had taken him to Northern Ireland where he saw active service.

"He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of that," said Mr Frazer.

"The day before this incident he heard some people talking with Northern Ireland accents and this brought back memories and he drank heavily.

"He accepts that on the morning prior to driving he had a little bit more to top up."