A SHIELDING man was caught drug-driving after running out of specialist food for his unwell pet, a court has heard.

Stephen Paul Windrow, of Crossways, Peterchurch, admitted two drug-driving offences when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford on September 16.

Police had been on patrol on Belmont Road in Hereford at around 2.15pm on February 23 when they stopped Windrow's Audi A3 due to his speed, prosecutor Ralph Robyns Landricombe said.

Windrow failed a roadside drug wipe test, and an evidential test in custody revealed he had 6.6 microgrammes of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per litre of blood. The legal limit is two.

The second offence came on April 1, when the 57-year-old was again stopped by police, this time at 12.55pm on the B4348 in Kingstone.

A drug wipe test was again positive for cannabis, and an evidential blood test showed Windrow had 9.1 microgrammes of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per litre of blood.

Philip Cornell, for Windrow, said he was a highly educated man who had been fighting mental health issues including severe depression.

"He has been using cannabis for about a year to try to get to sleep," Mr Cornell said.

"The one good thing that has come out of this is that he has spoken to his doctor about this and he has been referred for counselling."

The court heard Windrow had been shielding during lockdown, but had needed to make the trip into Hereford in April to buy specialist dog food for his pet, which required a special diet due to pancreatic problems.

"He lives in the sticks and had no one else who could do this for him," Mr Cornell said.

Windrow was disqualified from driving for 12 months and fined a total of £270. He must also pay costs of £50 and a £32 victim surcharge.