A MUSICIAN smashed into the front of a Herefordshire bakery after drinking wine behind the wheel, a court has heard.

Joe William Stafford entered a guilty plea when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford on December 2.

Police were called to reports that a driver had driven the wrong way up a one-way street and crashed into Leominster's Central Bakery before fleeing the scene at 3.48pm on November 4, prosecutor Ralph Robyns Landricombe said.

Driver Stafford's damaged Mercedes was found parked some distance away from the West Street crash scene, in Eaton Close, while he was caught walking away from the car.

An ambulance was called for Stafford, who told police he had intended to harm himself.

He was arrested after failing a roadside breath test, and an evidential test in custody revealed he had 89 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

In interview, Stafford told police he had been drinking wine while driving and was "guilty as charged", but that he accidentally drove into the bakery while reaching to pick something up in the car.

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George Cousins, for Stafford, said the 44-year-old musician was struggling with his mental health due to a number of family deaths and coronavirus halting his performances, and had been on the waiting list for treatment for 18 months.

"The help that he needed was not there, so that day he went to Dudley A&E and said he needed help," Mr Cousins said.

"He waited there for hours before leaving and driving to Leominster, where he parked outside the bakery.

"He was bent over looking for his phone while holding the wheel and he took his foot off the brake, put it onto the accelerator, and went through the window."

The court heard Stafford, of Eveson Road, Stourbridge, had sent the bakery a cheque for £500.

Stafford was disqualified from driving for 18 months and fined £326. He must also pay costs of £135 and a £34 victim surcharge.