A 71-year-old man seen driving erratically in the early hours was found to be over the limit for cocaine.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard pensioner John Brodie had used the drug "a couple of times" during a difficult period in his life.

Brodie, of Hollin Close, Whitewell Bottom, Rossendale, pleaded guilty to drug driving.

He was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Uzma Kausar, prosecuting, said officers on patrol in Burnley Road East, Waterfoot, saw a Peugeot 208 being driven erratically in the early hours of the morning.

When they stopped the car they immediately noticed the driver's demeanour was unusual.

A roadside drug swipe was positive and a subsequent blood sample showed benzoylecgonine at a level of 400 micrograms per litre of blood against the legal limit of 50mcg. There was no cocaine in the sample.

Janet Sime, in mitigation, said her client had been going through a very difficult period of his life.

He had many health problems and was on a great deal of medication.

"There is an ongoing issue with a contested will and basically his family is at war," said Miss Sime.

"His daughter has turned against him and he has been assaulted on a couple of occasions.

"He has felt suicidal and is clearly in a very dark place."

She said Brodie had tried cocaine on a couple of occasions.