A MAN said he couldn't do his unpaid work because he was "off his t**s" and he preferred prison.

Luke Beasley, of Ramsay Drive, Ferryhill, appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' yesterday where he pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the requirements of a community order.

The court heard that the 35-year-old had missed appointments with the National Probation Service (NPS) and failed to attend scheduled unpaid work.

An NPS officer said: "His attendance and motivation is very poor, out of 28 scheduled appointments he has only attended 11."

Paul Donohue, representing Beasley, said he had been a drug-taker for the last 20 years and couldn't manage the appointments.

He said: "Mr Beasley is doing his best, there is something not right but that is the product of taking drugs for two decades.

"He might wake up on a Monday and feel fine, complete his work, but then go home and take drugs and wake up on a Tuesday feeling horrendous."

Beasley told the court: "Some days I'm just too off my t**s to even get out of bed.

"I don't even have to do the community work because I'm on long term sick but I do it to try and better myself."

Magistrates extended his community order by six months and fined him £50, he must also pay £60 court costs.