A FATHER-of-four who crashed into a gas main after getting behind the wheel while drunk has been banned from driving.

Mark Lee Elliman, of Valencia Way appeared at Basingstoke Magistrates Court today (November 5) having pleased guilty of one count of drink driving.

The court heard how the 35-year-old had been out at a family birthday party on October 20 and had consumed four ciders, a couple of bottles of Becks and some cocktails.

Prosecutor Serena Edwards told the court the after the part “he [Elliman] got into an argument with his partner and got into his work van and left.”

Miss Edwards told the court that the police were called to King Arthurs Way, in Andover at around 1.20am after Elliman’s Volkswagen Crafter had collided with a lamppost, which subsequently hit a gas main.

The prosecutor added: “As a result of the burst gas main residents in the area had to be evacuated from their properties, with a police cordon put in place until the afternoon of the next day.”

Magistrates heard that when police arrived at the scene the 35-yaer-old admitted he was the driver and the only one at the scene.

Officers noted that he was “emotional and smelt of alcohol.”

In mitigation defence solicitor Phil McCann said that his client – who sat in the dock wearing a grey suit and white shirt - was a “up standing member of society and did a lot for the community.”

Mr McCann told magistrates “From the references I have handed you, you can see that this was very out of character for him.”

Elliman was banned from driving for 20 months and was fined £446 and ordered to pay £44 victim surcharge and £85 costs.