A SKATER avoided a driving ban after he was caught in the driver's seat of his mother's car listening to a podcast after smoking cannabis.

Robert Coker, 30, was sat inside a Peugeot in Milldown Car Park in Blandford at 11.45am on Saturday, June 13.

He pleaded guilty at Weymouth Magistrates’ Court in that he was in charge of a vehicle over the drug limit.

Prosecuting, Andrew Newman, explained how police officers came about his vehicle and observed the “strong smell” of cannabis.

He said: “Police officers on duty saw a car with the defendant inside located in the car park.

“Once signalled to open his door, the defendant opened his door and there was a strong smell of cannabis.

Dorset Echo: Outside Weymouth Magistrates' CourtOutside Weymouth Magistrates' Court

“He wasn’t insured to drive the car, which was his mother’s. The key was in the ignition and power was on, as he was listening to a podcast.

“He voluntarily said he was in possession of cannabis to police officers.”

Coker undertook a drug swipe which found found traces of cannabis.

He was arrested and later gave a blood sample, which showed he had 2.1 micrograms per litre of blood of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, a cannabinoid identified within cannabis. The drug limit for cannabis is 2ug/l.

Appearing unrepresented, Coker apologised for his actions and called it an “error of judgement” and said he has since stopped smoking cannabis.

He explained to the magistrates that he was only in the car park before he went skateboarding and never thought about driving the vehicle.

Coker said: “I fully admit I was over the drug limit. I was sat in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition.

Dorset Echo: The court heard how the defendant planned to go skating in the areaThe court heard how the defendant planned to go skating in the area

“I had no intention of driving as I intended to be skating for a few hours. I have always been teetotal.

“I can ensure the court that I am no longer using drugs.”

Coker, who has a full driving licence with no prior endorsements, added that he lost his job after admitting this offence to his employer.

He explained that he is now a self-employed painter and decorator and that he requires a driving licence to continue his new role.

After listening to Coker’s statement, magistrates said he wouldn't be disqualified but his driving licence would be endorsed with 10 penalty points.

Coker was also fined £107 and ordered to pay £34 victim surcharge and £85 in court costs.