A LEARNER driver says he has no idea how he ended up with cocaine in his system after crashing his car into a neighbour’s fence.

Police were called to Hampstead Avenue, Clacton, after neighbours were woken up by a loud crash.

Officers discovered a Peugeot 206 had smashed into a Honda CRV and a nearby fence.

Blood was found on the deployed airbag but the driver had disappeared.

They checked the registered keeper and found it belonged to Matthew Sales, of nearby Hoxton Close.

When they arrived at his home more blood was spotted on the porch steps.

Sales confirmed it was his car and he had been drinking the night before.

He was taken to hospital for treatment on facial injuries where an illegal level of a cocaine metabolite was found in his system.

The 28-year-old admitted drug driving, failing to stop after an accident and driving without a licence, MOT certificate or insurance at a Colchester Magistrates’ Court hearing.

Factory worker Sales said he had no recollection of taking cocaine but had been to the nearby Moon and Starfish pub to drink the night before.

Selena Dines, mitigating said: “He walked to the pub and walked back again.

“It isn’t clear why he got in the car or where he was intending to go.

“He regrets it and is profoundly sorry.

“For some unknown reason he got in the vehicle and he can only put it down to the stress he was under at the time.

“He is not a drug user and cannot explain them being in his his blood.

“This is a one off and definitely not something he does on a regular basis.

“It was during a really bad time in his life and he can only put it down to the stress he was under.

“He had intended to buy the car, take driving lessons and use it to get a better job further away than walking distance.”

Sales was banned from driving for 18 months and given a year-long community order where he must complete 120 hours of unpaid work.

Chairman of the bench Donald Wicks said the offences were “quite serious indeed”.

Sales must also pay £105 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.