A DRUG-DRIVER has pleaded guilty to a string of motoring offences, blaming his alopecia for his crimes.

Carl Edward Smith of Dumfries Street, Barrow was initially stopped by police while driving his partner's Ford C-Max car without any insurance.

Mr Peter Kelly, prosecuting, told the court how officers soon discovered 35 year-old Smith was only a provisional licence holder. Police also suspected Smith of being under the influence of cannabis, which a test result confirmed.

The court heard how Smith had been undertaking maintenance work on the Ford vehicle trying to change the brakes ready for an upcoming MOT.

Rather than ask his partner to come outside and take a test drive, Smith decided to do it himself.

Defence solicitor, Mr Michael Graham, called it "an unfortunate situation."

He said: "Mr Smith has been suffering from a stress disorder as a result of being diagnosed with alopecia and used the drugs to help.

"He is now on a course of treatment for this condition from the doctor.

"He is self employed and also works at weekends with a friend. He is a grafter and works hard but occasionally does foolish things."

Father-of-one Smith said he works hard to provide for his family.

Presiding Magistrate Mr Chris Harris said: "We must take into account other factors and things like your record which is extensive to say the least and shows examples of poor compliance."

Smith was given a three-month sentence will be suspended for 12 months.

Mr Harris said the court had taken the guilty pleas in to account.

"You must comply with all the aspects otherwise you will be off to custody," he added.

Smith, who works in construction and refurbishment, was also ordered to pay a total of £956- £800 in fines plus a victim surcharge and prosecution costs.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months.