A 30-YEAR-OLD Stroud man drove his BMW in the early hours of the morning while under the influence of cocaine, Cheltenham Magistrates heard yesterday.

Niall Ford-Allen of Ben Grazebrooks Well, Stroud, pleaded guilty to two charges of driving with a proportion of a specified drug above the limit in his body.

He had 52 micrograms of cocaine and 297 micrograms of benzoylecgonine - a cocaine metabolyte - per litre of blood.

Prosecuting lawyer Sonia Alford told the court it was “a significantly high reading.”

“Police stopped the defendant in his BMW 318 in Wallbridge Road, Stroud at 1.20am on March 30,” said MS Alford.

Defending lawyer Caroline Williams said: “He did not believe that he was over the limit – it was quite some time after he used the drug that he drove.”

Magistrates banned him from driving for 12 months, fined him £300 and ordered him to pay £85 prosecution costs.