A YOUNG Workington man who was found "draped" over the steering wheel of his car was over the limit for cannabis, a court heard.

Lewis Ryecroft, 28, committed the offence - being in charge of a car while over the limit for the class B drug - on Thursday, September 28 last year, as he sat in his Vauxhall, which he had parked in a layby on the A595 at Moota, Carlisle's Rickergate court was told.

A police officer who approached the car noticed the defendant in the driving seat, draped over the steeting wheel, and there was a strong smell of cannabis. As a result, the officer administered a roadside drugs test.

It gave a positive result for cannabis.

A test confirmed that Ryecroft, of Church Road, Harrington, Workington, was just over three times the limit.

Defence lawyer Marcus Kraehling-Smith said the defendant had been in a "dark place" when he committed the offence, having recently lost both his grandparents in quick succession.

He had been for a band practice with friends and as he drove home he broke down, feeling overwhelmed. "So he had a smoke," said the lawyer, adding: "It was out of character. There was no evidence of bad driving."

District Judge John Temperley imposed a £215 fine for over-the-limit offence, and ten points on the defendant's driving licence. Ryecroft was also fined £100 for the cannabis possession, and told he must pay £85 costs.

"Do not be foolish enough to make this mistake again," warned the judge. "You have come very close to losing your licence as a result of this." The judge added that he was pleased to hear from the defence advocate that Ryecroft had now ceased using cannabis.