A DRINK-driver apologised to a court after he admitted carrying a wooden truncheon in ‘dodgy’ areas.

Robert Earle, of Gatehouse View, Pembroke, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place when he appeared before Haverfordwest magistrates on Tuesday.

The court heard that police stopped Earle’s Peugeot 107 on the A477 at Waterloo, Pembroke Dock, just before 8pm on October 15, and could smell alcohol on his breath when they spoke to him.

He told them he had not been drinking, and had been out walking his dog, but a roadside breath test was positive and he was found to have 60mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the legal limit is 35mg.

Vaughan Pritchard-Jones, prosecuting, said: “When searched, he produced an old fashioned police truncheon, 11 and-a-half inches, from his jacket pocket.

"He said he was carrying it because he had been attacked before.”

In interview, Earle told officers he used the item as a ‘priest’ to dispatch fish, adding that he carried it for protection when he walked his dog in ‘dodgy’ areas.

Mark Layton, defending, told the bench that 55-year-old Earle had never been in trouble before, adding that he had misunderstood the law about carrying the truncheon.

“He did not think that by going round with this weapon that he was breaking the law at all. He had problems with certain individuals while out walking his dog.

“It was not an imminent threat, he was carrying it just in case, rather than anticipating any hostile action. It was not used to threaten or cause fear.”

Earle apologised to the court for his behaviour and thanked the police officers for the way they treated him while he was in their care.

He was fined a total of £240 and ordered him to pay £115 in court costs and charges.

Magistrates banned him from driving for 17 months and made a destruction order for his truncheon.