A DRINK-driver crashed into a church wall in her street after reaching down to get a phone inside her car, a court heard.

Gillian Hopkins, 51, was driving along Abersychan High Street when she swerved and smashed into the wall around a Methodist church.

Police found two bottles of wine in her car, one empty and one half full, Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court was told.

Tests revealed 76 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The limit is 35 microgrammes.

Her Golf was left unattended, and she had walked to her home in High Street to use the toilet, said prosecutor Ruth Hale.

Magistrates fined Hopkins £110 and banned her from driving for 18 months, hearing of her previously “unblemished good character”. Hopkins had apologised to officers.

Her solicitor, Gareth Driscoll, said she had suffered “extreme tragedy” including a bereavement and had recently been released from a mental health unit. Her employment had been terminated due to sickness issues. “She sincerely and genuinely apologises.”

She pleaded guilty to drink-driving around 11pm on May 29. Magistrate Jayne Thomas told her: “We’re sorry for your distress. We do have to ban you.”

Hopkins can take a drink-driving course, and pay a £20 surcharge.