A MAN who downed half a bottle of vodka and sniffed poppers before smashing a pub window and falling asleep in his van has appeared at court.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that Michael James Surrey tried to enter The Wheatsheaf pub on Yarm Road, in Darlington, just before noon on February 28.

However, when he was unable to enter the building because it was closed for a staff meeting, the 34-year-old became aggressive and began shouting before elbowing a window and causing it to smash.

John Garside, prosecuting, said: “A member of staff inside the pub was drawn to a yellow van which had been driven into the car park.

“Shortly after they observed the defendant get out of the vehicle and walk up to the pub, staggering and appearing to be extremely drunk.

“He began to bang on the pub window and as a result of his behaviour the member of staff called the police.

“He walked over the road to Greggs and then came back, shouting through the window and then elbowing it causing the frame to crack and the glass to smash.”

Police arrived to find Surrey slumped over and asleep in the driver’s side footwell of the van with the keys in the ignition.

Mr Garside added: “He told police in interview that between 9.30am and 10am he had gone to the shop, purchased a bottle of vodka, two energy drinks and a bottle of poppers.

"He drank half the bottle of vodka before inhaling the poppers and says he was staggering around because they had gone straight to his head.

"He was sticking his fingers up at motorists as he crossed the road to go to Greggs and said he had no idea why he behaved this way, other than the poppers must have affected him."

Surrey, who represented himself in court, said: "Everything he [Mr Garside] said is correct, there's nothing really to say for my behaviour other than it was stupid and out of character. I have been through a lot lately and have just been having a hard time."

Surrey, of Beaconsfield Street, Darlington, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and being in charge of a vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol.

He was disqualified him from driving for one month and fined £133. He must also pay £200 compensation, £32 victim surcharge and £85 costs.