A BASINGSTOKE man destroyed his 'sobriety tag' just days after being ordered to wear it, a court has heard.

Liam Heffernan, of Galloway Close in South Ham, was ordered to wear the tag around his ankle last month after he was convicted of drink driving in the town's Leisure Park.

The tags work by monitoring the wearer's sweat to detect for alcohol consumption and were only introduced at the end of March.

They are included as part of an Alcohol Abstinence and Monitoring requirement which can be imposed on offenders convicted of alcohol-related crime.

Basingstoke Magistrates' Court heard last week how Heffernan tampered with the base station of the device on April 9, just three days after he was ordered to wear it, before removing it on April 10, 11 and 13.

Eventually, he damaged the equipment on April 15, nine days after the initial order was made.

The 28-year-old admitted the breach and will now be subject to a six month community order which will see him undergo alcohol dependency treatment, as well as taking part in ten rehabilitation activity days.

He must also pay £60 in costs.

Sobriety tags are the brainchild of Kit Malthouse, the policing minister and MP for North West Hampshire.

Mr Malthouse first proposed the tags whilst deputy mayor of London and said the tags would “break the self-destructive cycle that offenders end up in".

He said: "Alcohol-fuelled crime blights communities and puts an unnecessary strain on our frontline services.

"Smart technologies like sobriety tags not only punish offenders but can help turn their lives around.

"While prison will always be the right place for many criminals, tough community sentences like this can help cut reoffending and protect the public."

Magistrates can order those convicted of alcohol-related crimes for up to 120 days, although they are not to be used on people who are alcohol-dependent or have certain medical conditions.

Its nationwide rollout followed two "successful" pilots - one in London and the other in Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.