A RETIRED vicar who was caught behind the wheel of a car despite being banned has been handed a further disqualification.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard how when Christopher Colton was stopped by police on April 13, officers could smell alcohol and he admitted having a whiskey that morning.

However the former vicar then passed a breathalyser test, the court heard on Friday, July 29.

Colton, 69, of Moore Drive, Higham, pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance.

He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 25 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a 60 days Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring requirement.

He was banned from driving for a further nine months and was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

Ceejay Kok, prosecuting, said officers were in the Higham area when they received information about a disqualified driver.

They saw him driving slowly in his Citroen C3 in Higham Road and stopped him in Moore Drive.

"He appeared to be under the influence of intoxicants but a roadside test was under the limit," said Miss Kok.

"He admitted he was disqualified and that had a drink of whiskey early in the day."

Miss Kok said Colton had been disqualified for 12 months in October for refusing to provide a sample for analysis.

Sardar Ashgar, in mitigation, said for the best part of 67 years his client had lived a blameless life until the failure to provide offence last year.

Mr Ashgar said his client accepted that over the last couple of years, to help him cope with anxiety and depression, he had turned to alcohol and there was an issue.

"He has been abstinent for a number of weeks now and he would be happy to go along with an alcohol abstinence order," said Mr Ashgar.