Disqualified truck driver who was caught high on cocaine on M4 jailed

A TRUCK driver who was caught behind the wheel on the M4 while high on cocaine and disqualified from driving has been jailed. Paul Anthony McGrath, 37, of Torfaen Terrace in Pontnewynydd, was caught driving an Iveco truck on the M4 westbound, between junctions 25 and 26 on January 17 last year. When he was tested by officers, it was found he had no less than 779 microgrammes of Benzoylecgonine – the main metabolite of cocaine – per litre of blood.

The legal limit is 50 microgrammes per litre of blood. He was convicted of charges of driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, and drug driving at Gwent Magistrates’ Court on July 30 last year. A warrant for his arrest without bail had been issued in August of last year.

McGrath appeared at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, June 29, and admitted a further charge of failing to surrender to police. He was jailed for 16 weeks for the charge of driving whilst disqualified, and a further eight weeks – running consecutively – for drug driving. He was handed an additional two week sentence for failing to surrender to the police.

For the charge of driving without insurance, McGrath received no separate penalty, meaning he was jailed for 26 weeks.

He was also banned from driving for 38 months and 26 days

McGrath was ordered to pay a GBP128 surcharge, but no order was made for costs.