A VAN driver was stopped by police in South Craven after a member of public reported a strong smell of cannabis coming from the vehicle, heard Skipton Magistrates.

Ross Ellis, who told the court on Friday it was his passenger who was smoking cannabis at the time, and not him, was stopped on January 11 on Keighley Road, Silsden.

A road side drugs test was positive, and he was taken to the police station for a blood test which later showed he had 5.7 microgrammes of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (cannabis) in his system. The specified limit is two microgrammes.

Self-employed Ellis, 26, of Ring Road, Middleton, Leeds, who pleaded guilty to drugs driving, said :"There was another lad in the van with me, and he was smoking weed at the time. The night before I had smoked it."

He was banned from driving for 12 months, fined £150, with costs of £85 and a surcharge of £30.