A FORMER soldier who served in Iraq and Sierra Leone has escaping a driving disqualification after admitting failing to supply a breath test to police.

John James Collins, of Archdale Close in Bournemouth, was arrested in the early hours of New Year’s Day following a rowdy house party.

Police had been called to the party earlier that evening, and decided to take the 35-year-old home as he was drunk.

However, a short time later, they received another call urging them to return to the venue, and spotted Collins’s car outside.

Realising he had returned to the gathering, officers decided to arrest him and took him to the police station for tests to ascertain how much he had drunk.

But despite attempting to use the breathalyser four times, Collins was unable to provide a reading. Lee Turner, prosecuting, said that on their return to the party, officers “found a vehicle outside parked at an angle.”

He added: “It was warm and the car was insecure.

“They found the defendant inside the property, still drunk, and suspected he made his way back to the party in the vehicle. Nobody saw him driving. He was taken into custody, where he failed to provide two specimens of breath and was charged with having no reasonable excuse for that.”

Robert Renshaw, mitigating, said Collins, who now works at DigitalAir Wireless in Poole, had become anxious when his partner Helen “severely” injured her hand during the party.

“He tried four times to blow into the machine [when breathalysed],” he said.

“This is a man who has a blameless record and no previous convictions, as well as a clean driving license.”

Collins, who wore a grey suit to the court, served in the British Army’s Parachute Regiment.

He was deployed around the world during his service.

Magistrates fined him £290 in total and endorsed his driving licence with 10 points after he admitted the single charge at court in Bournemouth.