A DRUG driver who claimed he used cannabis to help cope with anxiety has been banned from the roads for 12 months.

Bolton magistrates heard how police stopped Nathan Hilton's BMW on Canning Street, Bolton, just before midnight on October 13 last year after believing he was speeding and he tested positive for cannabis.

Hilton, aged 24, of Gib Lane, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to drug driving.

Karen Hall, defending, stressed that Hilton has no previous convictions and told how the civil engineer had been at a friend's house earlier in the day helping him do some jobs.

"He does accept that he, foolishly, smoked two joints of cannabis, which they shared, quite a bit earlier in the evening," she said.

"He says he is a recreational user and suffers from anxiety and he tells me that is the reason he takes it."

She added that Hilton has not been tempted to drive since and his brother has now taken over the lease on the car.

As well as a driving ban, Hilton was fined £415 plus £126 in costs and charges.