An 'intoxicated' driver caught while trying to eat a fast food meal in his car will spend Christmas behind bars.
George Todd was seen in the car park of McDonald’s in Newcastle Road, South Shields, with the contents of his meal spilled all over himself and the interior of his Volvo, South Tyneside magistrates heard.
The 38-year-old, who was twice disqualified for offences including dangerous driving and driving while disqualified, is not allowed to drive until he passes an extended driving test.
Yet police caught him behind the wheel after a caller raised concerns about him on July 20.
Prosecutor Clare Urwin said: "Officers attended and the defendant was the sole occupant of a Volvo motor vehicle.
"It was seen to drive out of the McDonald’s car park and into Shaftesbury Avenue.
"They activated the blues and twos on the police vehicle.
"The vehicle stopped and officers approached the driver’s door.
"The defendant was attempting to eat a McDonald’s meal.
"There was food on him and all over the inside of the car.
"He appeared to be intoxicated.
"His head was falling forward as if he was falling asleep."
Ms Urwin said that when they walked him to the police vehicle, he was slurring his words and was unsteady on his feet.
He did however not smell of alcohol, which led officers to believe he was under the influence of drugs.
A cannabis grinder with cannabis bush inside was found in the car. He was arrested and failed to take part in a drug test.
Todd, of Dundas Way, Felling, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a specimen, possession of cannabis, driving whilst disqualified and without insurance.
Tom Iceton, defending, said: "He has had a terrible record with regards to driving.
"The problem is once you have to sit an extended driving test it’s being able to afford it."
Mr Iceton said Todd has just undergone a mental health assessment, had fluid on his spine, is undergoing tests for cancer and suffers from severe anxiety and depression.
He said: "On the day in question, he had received information about having to have more tests with regards to the cancer.
"He says there is no excuse for it but he just needed to get out of the house.
"He went off and drove a very short distance just to be on his own and bought a burger.
"He knows he has to stop taking cannabis due to the effect it is having on his mental health."
Todd was jailed for four months and given a further 36-month driving ban. He was told to pay £85 costs and £115 surcharge.