A FITNESS instructor left a "trail of destruction" after he smashed his car into telegraph poles and lampposts in a late night drink-driving crash.

Ben Patience, who also runs his own security firm, abandoned his silver Audi R8 on the A27 at Chilworth following the crash and called his mum to pick him up.

Police officers were so concerned with the state of the car and blood found around the scene, a helicopter was deployed to try and find the former Mountbatten School pupil.

Southampton Magistrates' Court heard that when the 30-year-old was finally tracked down at a hospital, he was found to be two times the drink driving limit with readings of 170mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The limit is 80mg.

Prosecutor Graham Heath told the court that the incident took place at around 4.40am on the morning of August 20.

He said: "Officers found there to be a trail of destruction leading to the unattended Audi.

"It appeared that three to four telegraph poles and two or three lampposts and have struck by the vehicle and no occupant was around.

"Blood was found on the car's steering wheel and on the airbag. Blood was also found on the outside of the car.

"It seems he was taken to a local hospital and it transpired that the defendant was taken there by his mother. He was then tested and a positive reading was taken."

Originally Patience pleaded not guilty to driving whilst over the limit as he said he went back to his mother's house first where he consumed alcohol before he was taken and tested at the hospital.

However, he changed his plea on the day of his trial.

Mitigating, Nick Muir told the court that Patience had originally gone to visit a friend in Southampton and had no intention of drinking.

He said: "He has no recollection of the incident and said he remembers only having one drink.

"We can't confirm if he did have a spiked drink but he does say he only had one."

Mr Muir added that since the incident Patience has moved but still has family in Romsey.

Patience, of Bunny Lane, Sherfield English, was disqualified from driving for 20 months.

He was fined £649 and ordered to pay £200 costs and £64 victim surcharge.