A “GOOD Samaritan” who offered to help transport his intoxicated friend was caught drug-driving after stepping in behind the wheel.

Luke Fothergill, 34, found himself in hot water as police were on mobile patrol on London Road in Carlisle at around 4-25am on January 28.

Officers had cause to stop a Toyota Rav 4 vehicle.

“The defendant (Fothergill) was the driver,” prosecutor Glenn Anderton told the city’s magistrates’ court. “A roadside drug wipe was conducted which proved positive in relation to the presence of cocaine.

“Further checks at the scene also revealed the defendant had a revoked driving licence and, as a result, no insurance to drive the said vehicle. All of which was admitted by the defendant at the scene.”

Fothergill provided a blood sample which showed he was over the legal driving limit for the class A drug.

Fothergill, formerly of Kendal and now of Cumberland Court, Carlisle, admitted three offences. These were drug-driving, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and no insurance.

He had 26 past convictions on his record for 46 offences.

Defence solicitor Jeff Smith, giving mitigation, told the court: “I hope I am not over-egging the case when I describe Mr Fothergill as a Good Samaritan.

“He was with the owner of the vehicle. The owner was intoxicated. Luke foolishly offered to drive and the rest, as you’ve heard from my learned friend (the prosecutor), is history.

“He knows he is going to be disqualified. He hopes that will be limited to 12 months. I hope the court will accept his apology.”

In relation to Fothergill’s cocaine use, Mr Smith added: “That had been four days earlier. It came as a surprise to him that the level in his body was as high as it in fact was.”

Magistrates imposed fines totalling £240 and banned Fothergill from driving for 15 months. He must also pay £85 costs and a £96 victim surcharge.