An Ilfracombe man accused of dangerous driving has been ordered into the cells by a Judge after turning up at court too drunk to stand up.

Stephen Evans had to be helped into the dock at Exeter Crown Court by his barrister and fell over when he tried to stand up.

He was unable to confirm his name and waved his left arm at the clerk when asked to do so.

He is thought to have got drunk while taking a train from his home in North Devon to the court in Exeter.

Judge Timothy Rose remanded him in custody for 24 hours and will resume his case when he has sobered up.

He said: "I am not going to hold a plea and trial preparation hearing today. The defendant is in no state to understand all the elements of the case. There are many things I have to explain to him. He can't stand up."

He told Evans: "You are too drunk and intoxicated to function and will not be able to understand things. You can't turn up in court in that kind of a state. I am remanding you in custody until Friday, when you will have sobered up."

He had to be helped out of court and down the stairs to the cells by a police officer who was attending his case. As Evans left, he said: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm not drunk."

Evans, aged 59, of Wilder Place, Ilfracombe, is accused of aggravated vehicle taking, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink driving, failing to stop, and driving while disqualified and without insurance.

Piers Norsworthy, defending, said Evans will enter not guilty pleas when the case returns to court on the basis that he says he was not the driver at the time of the accident.