This story is only available to Hereford Times subscribers. Click here to find out why and how to subscribe for exclusive court stories.

A HEREFORDSHIRE man appeared to fall asleep in the courtroom after pleading guilty to drug-driving.

Christopher Mitchell seemingly dozed off at his court appearance in Hereford on June 12 as his defence solicitor Chris Read explained to magistrates: "He is struggling to stay awake".

The defendant had been charged with driving a vehicle with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.

Mitchell admitted driving while over the cocaine limit.

Mitchell appeared to fall asleep just minutes after entering his guilty plea, with his head resting on the table in front of him while prosecutor Beth Owen spoke.

Ms Owen said Mitchell was stopped by police officers at 1pm on November 21 last year as part of an unrelated traffic stop in Kingsway, Hereford.

He was given a roadside saliva test which was positive, and was later given a blood test which showed levels of 21 microgrammes of cocaine per litre of blood. The limit is 10.

The blood test also revealed the presence of other drugs, namely diazepam and THC, however these were under the legal driving limit.


The court heard from Mr Read that Mitchell is "in very very poor health"  and was taking diazepam on prescription. He was also said to be engaging with Turning Point, a drug rehabilitation service, and receiving disability benefits.

The 43-year-old will be required to return to court next month to be sentenced.

He has been handed an interim disqualification meaning he is banned from driving until his sentencing.