A HAWICK flood prevention worker refused to provide police with samples of breath after being suspected of drinking and driving.

Fifty-three-year-old Simon Bermingham also declined to tell officers who had been driving the vehicle which was registered to him.

At Jedburgh Sheriff Court he was disqualified from driving for 16 months and fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to both offences on February 11.

Bermingham, who is from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland and runs a steel fixing company, had been in Hawick working on the town's flood defence system.

Prosecutor India McLean said police attended at the Queen's Head public house in the High Street at around 9.30pm after an allegation of drinking and driving.

She added that they spoke to the accused who appeared intoxicated and he struggled to have a conversation with the officers. He refused to give details of the driver of the vehicle in question.

The fiscal said that Bermingham was taken to Hawick Police Station where he refused to give two samples of breath and was subsequently cautioned and charged and made no reply.

Defence lawyer Liam Alexander said his client recognised he had got it "monumentally wrong" by not being co-operative with the police.

He added: "He appreciates he is going to lose his driving licence."

Sheriff Kevin McCarron said he would have banned Bermingham for 18 months but reduced the sentence to 16 months and made him certifiable for the drink-drive rehabilitation course which will result in a 25 per cent reduction in the disqualification period if completed at his own expense.

The fine would have been £2,500 but it was modified to £2,000 because of the guilty plea with a £75 victim surcharge.