A DRINK driver three found slumped in his car at three and a half times the limit was wrestling with a divorce, his dad's death and his mum's dementia.

Shaun Hassell of Napleton Lane, Kempsey had been caring for his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, and had suffered the loss of his father and been through a divorce when officers found him slumped in the driver's seat of his Ford Focus after a wine and beer binge.

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The 55-year-old retired printer admitted driving with excess alcohol when he appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Thursday and was said to be 'shaken' when warned by his solicitor that the reading was so high he could end up in jail.

An evidential breath test at Worcester Police Station revealed 129mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath following the incident on November 21 this year, a reading more than three and a half times the legal limit of 35mcg.

Shafquat Reaz, prosecuting, said: "Around 9.30pm police were called to Napleton Lane in regard to the defendant being seen slumped over the driver's seat and being under the influence of alcohol in his vehicle."

Officers initially suspected Hassell of the lesser charge of being drunk in charge of the car. However, he admitted to them he had been driving, failing a roadside breath test.

"The defendant admitted he had been drinking at his home address and had driven the car to the local shop and on to a pub" said the prosecutor.

Hassell had no previous convictions and was therefore a man of good character. A probation officer, who interviewed him to assist the court with a verbal fast-delivery pre-sentence report, said he had been 'open and honest' with her, telling her he had consumed a bottle of wine and two beers that evening.

The probation officer said he had shown a high level of victim empathy and was aware that drink drivers put the lives of others at risk.

She said: "He had been caring for his mum who suffers from Alzheimer's. He had a lot of pressure on him and he had had enough that day."

His mum was now in a residential home. Hassell was described as a father-of-two, a single man who had been married for 31 years.

"The divorce came through this year" she said. His father died in July this year.

Alcohol, she said, was his 'go to and his coping mechanism'. He is prescribed Sertraline for depression and anxiety and had previously been in residential rehabilitation for two weeks.

Nick Roberts, defending, said Hassell had suffered a divorce, the death of his father and his mother going into a home with dementia which he argued 'might tax any of us'.

"Obviously he dealt with it in the wrong way. When I told him this was a case that could result in custody he was somewhat shaken" he said.

Magistrates imposed a community order for 12 months to include six months of alcohol treatment, 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 40 hours of unpaid work in the community. He was banned from driving for 30 months but was offered the drink driver's rehabilitation course. If completed successfully, this will shave 30 weeks off the length of the disqualification.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £135 and a victim surcharge of £95.