A HOUSTON businessman who turned to alcohol to cope with the stress of his failing business has been banned from the roads after being caught driving nearly EIGHT times the alcohol limit.

But Michael Rotherforth was spared jail to allow him to try to get the failing finance firm back on track.

Rotherforth, 47, was spotted getting off a train from Glasgow at Johnstone station at around 9pm on June 2 this year.

He was seen at a bus stop for a short spell before heading in to a car park and getting in to a silver Toyota.

The witness phoned 999 and police later found Rotherforth at his home, having driven three-and-a half- miles to Houston’s South Street.

Rotherforth claimed he had only had two pints of cider with his dinner, whilst in Glasgow city centre.

But he failed a breathalyser and was taken to the station for another test, where he blew 165mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – seven-and-a-half times the 22mcg limit.

He made no reply when cautioned and charged by officers and was held in police custody before admitting his guilt when he appeared in court.

He pleaded guilty to breaking Section 5(1)(A) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, sentence was deferred for background reports and Rotherforth returned to Paisley Sheriff Court last week to learn his fate.

Defence solicitor Terry Gallanagh said Rotherforth had held his hands up to driving while having “a titanic reading” as he had been “dealing with stress and, like so many others, sought solace in alcohol.”

He asked Sheriff Colin Pettigrew not to jail Rotherforth or place him on a Community Payback Order (CPO), saying the accused’s wife Diane could pay a fine on his behalf.

Sheriff Pettigrew opted to spare him prison or any further financial pressures, so he can try to fix his failing business.

As he placed him on a 12-month CPO, which will see him carry out 200 hours’ unpaid work in the community, Sheriff Pettigrew said: “I’m not imposing this so the company goes down – it’s to give you a chance to try and save the company.”