A DRINK driver who ploughed into a music venue causing thousands of pounds worth of damage has been ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

Dean Toomer, of Watson Acre, Andover, drove a black Jeep into the Rockhouse, in London Street, on September 6 after he had been drinking in the bar.

He then got in the vehicle and drove in the direction of the venue as staff saw the beaming headlights heading towards them.

The 37-year-old crashed into the building destroying a wall, metal barriers and signage leaving Rockhouse owners with a repair bill of around £6,000.

At Basingstoke Magistrates Court on Thursday, September 20, Toomer pleaded guilty to drink driving and criminal damage.

The court heard a breath test revealed he had 98 microgrammes of alcohol 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35.

Magistrates ordered Toomer to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and 14 days rehabilitation. He was also disqualified from driving for 24 months and ordered to pay £85 court costs and victim surcharge.

Speaking to the Advertiser before the sentencing, staff member Billy Duffy said he thought Toomer was making an “empty threat” and that he and fellow employee Dan Wardrop were “shocked” by the whole incident.