MAGISTRATES were left disturbed when a drug driver who crashed his car after taking cocaine laughed and smiled while being sentenced.

Hereford Magistrates Court heard how Ashley Bennett, 26, had crashed a Silver Ford on the A49 in Peterstow, near Ross-on-Wye.

A drugs test after the crash on March 23 then revealed he had 640microgrammes of cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine in his blood. The legal limit is 50mg.


Prosecution solicitor Mark Hambling said Bennett had a previous conviction for drug-driving in 2016 which resulted in a 12-month ban.

Speaking on his own behalf, Bennett said he hadn’t taken cocaine that day and didn’t realise it would stay in his system so long.

But magistrates were left disturbed as they said Bennett was “laughing and smiling” during the court hearing.


They also said Bennett had an “err of amusement about you”.

Bennett, of Hunderton Avenue, Hereford, was banned from driving for three years after pleading guilty to one count of drug driving.

He was also fined £323 and told to pay £135 costs and a £34 victim surcharge.