A drug-driver paid for an investigation which backed up the prosecution case against him.

William David Smith, of Pier Road, Milford Haven, pleaded guilty to two charges of driving while over the controlled drug limit when he appeared at Haverfordwest magistrates court on Monday, December 3.

Smith, 43, had previously denied the offences, and was due to stand trial, but informed the court he planned to change his plea the week before the hearing.

Prosecutor Sian Vaughan told the court that Smith’s Vauxhall van was stopped as part of a routine check on the A478 at Tenby on May 4.

“There were no aggravating features, it was a routine stop. As a consequence of Mr Smith’s demeanour, officers conducted a roadside swab-test.”

Stuart John, defending, said: “He says at the time, while he was in possession of a small amount of drugs, and acknowledged he had drugs quite some time before his arrest, he did not feel that he was in a condition that would be over the drug drive limit.”

He added: “He was genuinely surprised at the result of the tests.”

Smith paid for a separated analysis of his blood tests as part of his own investigation, and changed his plea to guilty when he received the results which confirmed the prosecution’s case.

The bench heard that Smith, who runs a cleaning company, met up with old friends on the night in question, and it was the only time he had taken drugs since leaving prison and turning his life around.

Mr John said: “It was a terrible, terrible mistake.

“He is a positive member of society and someone who is prepared to work hard to make a living.”

Mr John added that Smith had made arrangements to ensure the conviction had a limited impact on his staff.

Smith was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £576. He was ordered to pay £350 towards court costs and a £57 surcharge.