A HGV driver who caused a three-lorry crash in Llandrindod Wells was more than three times the drink drive limit.

Martin John Cooper, 57, narrowly avoided prison at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court when he admitted the offence.

The court heard that Cooper, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, crashed his vehicle into the back of his colleague’s while they were part of a convoy travelling from Rotherham to Newport.

Stephen Davies, prosecuting, told the court that police were called to the incident at around 10am on February 21 involving two fully laden HGVs.

When approaching a roundabout on the A483, Cooper’s colleague had slowed down and he failed to react in time, ploughing into the back of the vehicle and causing extensive damage.

A third driver from the same company had been at the front of the convoy and had been pushed onto the roundabout, but his vehicle was undamaged and he had carried on the journey.

The two remaining drivers were breathalysed, and Cooper was found to be over the limit. He was arrested and gave a further breath sample at 12.10pm, revealing 111 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than three times the legal limit of 35.

Mr Davies added that Cooper had a previous drink drive conviction from 2010.

Amy Wyrwoll, from the probation service, said: “He has admitted that he did consume alcohol the night before. He was up early and didn’t have any breakfast.”

She said he had been distracted by a car trying to overtake the convoy and when he looked forward again it was too late to stop.

“There are no issues with alcohol, he is a social drinker,” added Ms Wyrwoll.

“He had four pints the night before but didn’t feel the effects of that the next day.”

John McCarthy, defending, said: “He was out for the night, they were a group of colleagues who went to the pub after their day’s work.

“He was flabbergasted when he realised what the reading was, he would not have driven if he thought he was over the limit. He can’t understand why it was so high.

“He has been dismissed by his employer. He will struggle to get another driving job or any job in the future because of this serious mistake that he has made.”

Cooper was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, as well as a four-year driving ban.

He must complete 200-hours of unpaid work and pay £85 costs and pay a £115 surcharge.