A LORRY driver crashed his vehicle while high on cocaine and MDMA, only to try and make a 200-mile trip when he was high on drugs again three months later.

Paul Walmsley was driving a Scania lorry in August last year when he was seen by drivers “swerving across the A13” on the way to Southend.

Police received several 999 calls, but Walmsley hit the central reservation and veered off the road into a grass verge before emergency services could arrive.

Walmsley, of Woodfield End, Layer, was taken to Basildon police station where a blood sample showed he was under the influence of cocaine and MDMA.

Though Walmsley was released under investigation, he did not receive a driving ban.

A Colchester Magistrates’ Court hearing yesterday was told how the father of two then tried to get behind the wheel of another HGV in November.

Prosecuting barrister Nishmah Shah told the court how Walmsley was preparing to make the 200-mile trip from Felixstowe to Sheffield in a Renault HGV when he passed a member of staff at the gatehouse.

The member of staff noticed Walmsley was swerving in the vehicle and took the keys off him to stop him leaving.

Walmsley then got into the seat of a Toyota Yaris before colleagues managed to restrain him before police arrived, with an officer observing the defendant had “constricted pupils and was looking at him with a wide, manic gaze”.

Walmsley later pleaded guilty to two charges of driving a vehicle with a proportion of a controlled drug above the limit.

Anthony McKen, mitigating, told the court Walmsley was battling a drug addiction and is trying to rebuild his life.

He said: “To his credit, he has taken the position to take full responsibility for these matters and has made steps to start a new business as a result of him losing his licence.”

Chair of the bench Daniel Pears banned Walmsley from driving for five years, but spared him a jail term.

He said: “You are an incredibly lucky person that you are here in this court today and not in the crown court facing death by dangerous driving.”

Walmsley was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to carry out 30 rehabilitation requirement days and 100 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay £324 in costs.