A FORMER soldier almost crashed head-on into a police car after taking cocaine, Barnsley Magistrates' Court was told.

Luke Stephen Wigglesworth's Volvo veered across the dividing central white line, said Jayne Ormrod, prosecuting.

"The police car was travelling in the opposite direction and had to brake to avoid a collision," she added.

Later, Wigglesworth, 22, who came out of the army in 2011 after more than three years, weaved in and out of parked cars, said Mrs Ormrod.

Mrs Ormrod added Wigglesworth overtook a car waiting at traffic lights. She said he was arrested after swerving onto Jardine Street, Wombwell.

Gerard Casey, defending, said Wigglesworth tried cocaine for the first time with friends at his home at School Street, Wombwell.

He said one of Wigglesworth's friends asked for a lift and he felt he would be fine to drive.

Mr Casey said: "He drove the way he did to evade the police. He saw the police car and panicked because he was not insured."

Wigglesworth, now a self-employed scaffolder, admitted driving while unfit through drugs, possessing cocaine and having no insurance.

Wigglesworth was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for 28 months.

He was ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.