A LANDSCAPE gardener was arrested after a crash in Poole when he told a witness he had been drinking.

Christopher Johnson, of Medbourne Close in Blandford, was almost three times the drink-drive limit shortly after the collision on June 9.

Johnson’s Land Rover Freelander hit another car at the junction of Wimborne Road and Bailey Crescent. A passenger of the other car sustained whiplash injuries, a court heard.

Jason Spellman, prosecuting at Poole Magistrates’ Court, said Johnson had “failed to brake”.

“The defendant told a witness he had been drinking and police were called,” he said.

“His speech was slurred and he smelled strongly of alcohol. He told police he had been drinking and said, ‘There’s no excuse – it’s been a long time coming’.”

Johnson, who admitted drink driving on Tuesday, had 102 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – 2.9 times the limit.

The court heard the defendant had drunk four bottles of Hobgoblin ale while walking his dog. He admitted the decision to drive was "foolish".

Probation Service officials said Johnson told them he had made a "conscious decision to drive, despite being aware he was under the influence".

Johnson, 44, previously ran his own landscaping business, which closed due to financial difficulties. He now works for a local authority.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, and must complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for 24 months and told to pay an £85 surcharge and £85 costs.