A drink-driver was discovered on a chicken farm after a discarded cup alerted police to his vehicle.

John William Fitzgerald, of Priory Lodge Drive, Milford Haven, pleaded guilty to driving while over the legal alcohol limit and while disqualified when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday, September 8.

Prosecutor Linda Baker said police officers were approached by a member of the public who informed them a white van driver had thrown a take-away coffee cup out of the vehicle in the South Hook Road area of Milford Haven on August 7.

Officers found the Vauxhall Vivaro parked at a dead-end near a footpath entrance, and a man was spotted running from the driver’s side.

The officers noted a strong smell of alcohol when they looked inside the vehicle, and spotted empty beer and cider cans.

Fitzgerald, 50, was located in a chicken farm, a short distance away from the footpath.

He was arrested and found to have 68mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, nearly double the legal limit of 35mg.

Tom Lloyd, defending, said Fitzgerald had struggled with alcohol issues over the years, but had always been in full-time employment and able to provide for his family.

He added that Fitzgerald consumed a ‘large quantity of alcohol’ in the day in question.

“He understands now that the position is he can’t have any alcohol because he makes foolish decisions.”

The bench heard that Fitzgerald’s previous driving ban had expired, but he had failed to reapply for his licence, despite taxing and insuring the vehicle.

Mr Lloyd said: “As far as he was aware there were no issues with him driving the car because the ban had expired.

“He served his three-year disqualification period and has not been in trouble for anything during that time. He made lawful arrangements to use the vehicle.

The court heard Fitzgerald had sought professional help for his alcohol issues.

Magistrates ordered Fitzgerald to pay £925 in fines, costs and a surcharge.

He was banned from driving for 42 months.

Fitzgerald said: “I am sorry. I am not a bad person.”