A mortified retired nurse has been banned from the roads after being caught drink driving after speaking at a cancer awareness event.

Since her nursing career finished Brenda Fuller, 68, has been doing charity work and had been invited to be a guest speaker at a prostate cancer event at a snooker hall in Witham.

During the course of the evening she drunk what she believed were two small glasses of red wine and a non alcoholic drink and then proceeded to driver her Toyota GT86 back to her home in Latchingdon Road, Cold Norton.

But part way through the journey on a country road an oncoming car came over to her lane forcing her to swerve and crash into a ditch.

Police arrived on the scene and noticed she smelt of alcohol.

Fuller was co-operative with officers but was breathalysed and the lower reading was 55mcgs of alcohol per 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35.

She admitted drink driving at Colchester Magistrates' Court.

Philip Pearson, prosecuting said: "At 1am officers arrived in Maldon Road, Hatfield Peverel, after reports a car had left the road and gone into bushes.

"A member of the public had called but did not leave their details.

"There was nobody in the car but a number of people were nearby.

"Fuller identified herself as the driver.

"They recognised she smelt of alcohol and she was arrested and taken to the police station."

After being taken to the station after the crash in July, Fuller was being interviewed by police until chest pains initially thought to be caused by the seatbelt in her car during the crash got worse.

She was transferred to hospital and it emerged she had actually suffered a mild heart attack.

The court heard Fuller rarely drinks alcohol and was devastated at what she had done.

Magistrates handed her a year driving ban and ordered she pay a £290 fine. She must pay another £115 in court charges.