THREE months will be knocked off a one-year ban after a drink driver agreed to a rehabilitation course.

Gina-Kay Elsdon Applegarth, 25, of Longlands Farm, Hornby, Great Smeaton, near Northallerton, admitted driving while over the legal alcohol limit and wasting police time.

Richmond magistrates disqualified her from driving for 12 months but allowed this to be cut to nine months if she completed the 20-hour rehabilitation course.

The court heard on Monday that police called to an accident near Salutation Farm, Little Smeaton, shortly after 3am on July 27 found an empty and badly-damaged black Ford Escort car on its side by the A167.

A police search revealed Applegarth hiding in a nearby barn.

She initially said a man called James, whom she had met for the first time that evening in Northallerton, had been driving.

However, she later admitted that she had been alone in the car.

The court heard that Applegarth, a graduate who worked on her father's farm, was previously of good character and had never appeared in court before.

She had driven following a night out in Northallerton because she had intended to stay in town overnight, but an offer of accommodation was withdrawn.

She was fined a total of £150 with £55 costs.