A PENSIONER has been banned from driving for 14 months after making his first-ever court appearance at the age of 74.

Merfyn Wyn Jones’ Nissan Navara was spotted outside a pub in Pen-y-Bont-Fawr on March 6, and police pulled him over when they later saw him behind the wheel.

Welshpool Magistrates’ Court heard this week Jones had only consumed one drink and was surprised to find he was over the drink drive limit when he was breathalysed.

Jones pleaded guilty to drink driving when he appeared on Tuesday, April 4.

Prosecutor Molly Rumsey said: “The defendant came to the attention of police when they saw him sat outside the Railway Inn in his car.

“He was later seen driving down the road and they pulled him over. They smelt alcohol on his breath and he provided a positive roadside test. He has no previous convictions.”

The reading provided by Jones was 51 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Acting for Jones, of Green Ucha, Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, Paul Inns said: “He is making his first appearance before a court and I anticipate it will be his last too.

“He was fully cooperative at the roadside and for the procedure. He had popped into the pub literally for a quick drink. He felt fine and didn’t appreciate he was over the limit.

“He said the police were fine when dealing with him. He asked if there was anything untoward about his driving, which there wasn’t, but the officer said he’d seen his car outside the pub before and later saw him driving.

“He is retired. I would hope, in light of this being his first conviction, you would give him a chance to attend a course."

In addition to disqualifying Jones from driving for 14 months, magistrates fined him £139 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £56 surcharge.

He can reduce his ban by completing a drink driving awareness course.