A DANGEROUS driver from Rednal fell who asleep in his van in the fast lane of the motorway has been jailed.

Rhys Kelly stopped his Mercedes Sprinter works van in the fast lane of the M5 before he nodded of, lying across both seats.

Worcester Magistrates' Court heard how the 25-year-old had smoked cannabis and drunk alcohol, making him unfit to drive.

When challenged by officers, Kelly woke up and drove off at around 34mph over a distance of around a mile and a half.

Kelly, of New Road, Rednal admitted dangerous driving which included failure to stop when required and driving while unfit through drink and drugs on the southbound carriageway between junction 5 (Droitwich) and junction 7 (Worcester south) on August 23 last year.

Mark Hambling, prosecuting, argued the case was too serious to be dealt with by magistrates, describing what happened as "rather strange" when Kelly appeared in February.

He said: "The vehicle is stationary in the outside lane of a four lane motorway.

"This is a case where a vehicle - not a lorry but a substantial vehicle - is stationary in the lane.

"You can see it's there for a period of time, so much so that a Highways patrol officer and a police officer actually stop the traffic on the motorway."

Although this happened at 1.30am, Mr Hambling said the incident still caused some delay to traffic.

"It's not heavy traffic but it's traffic all the same," said Mr Hambling.

The prosecutor said Kelly was approached by a Highways enforcement officer only to find the defendant "lying across the seats".

Mr Hambling added: "The enforcement officer will say he is, perhaps, asleep."

Once he stirred, Kelly drove off - not at speed, but before he had been given permission to leave the scene, the prosecutor told the bench.

For the offence of dangerous driving, he was jailed for 14 months at Worcester Crown Court last month.

He was banned from driving for 19 months and must take an extended retest. There were three month concurrent sentences for driving while unfit through drink and drugs.