A SERVING soldier has been banned from driving and could be dismissed by the army after refusing several times to provide a specimen for testing after a Christmas Day crash in Pershore.

Lance Bombadier Stephen Lawrence, of Royal Citadel, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court yesterday.

Prosecuting Leslie Ashton told the court that police were called just before 7pm to the Hill and Moor landfill site, where a driver had crashed through the gates, spinning the vehicle, and run off.

She told magistrates that on approach to the site police saw a man, which was Lawrence, unsteady on his feet and identified him as the driver.

Miss Ashton said they believed him to have drunk alcohol so asked him to take a roadside breath test.

The 30-year-old refused twice, was arrested and taken to the police station.

“Officers again asked him – he refused,” Miss Ashton said.

“He said ‘I’m not saying anything’.” Miss Ashton added he had a previous conviction for drinkdriving in 2009.

Defending, Patrick Kelly explained that Lawrence had been in a row with his partner and left their Pershore home to see his sister who was unwell.

Mr Kelly said he turned in, thinking it was a lay-by, and crashed into the gates but stressed there was no risk to any other road users as there was no one else around.

Mr Kelly said: “It was a stupid thing to do, it will never happen again.”

Lieutenant Paul Wilson was called to the stand to speak on behalf of Lawrence and he said a 36 month ban could see the end of Lawrence’s Army career.

He added that the father-of-four had been assessed to have posttraumatic stress disorder, following tours in Afghanistan and Somalia.

He also suffered from panic attacks, which Mr Kelly later said he had suffered from while at the court.

After a long period of deliberations by magistrates, Lawrence was disqualified from driving for 36 months, which could be reduced by 36 weeks if he successfully completes a drink-drive awareness course.

He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, and to pay costs of £135, and a victim surcharge of £85 – a total of £220.