A businessmen was reduced to shooting animals to feed his family after he went bankrupt.

Marcus Hudson ran a thriving decorating firm until it went bust.

He struggled to make ends meet by doing odd jobs to provide for his wife and daughters.

But in the end the strain proved too much and he turned to drink and crime.

The 34-year-old of Hett Close, Ardingly, was arrested after police tried to pull over his Transit van in West Street, Lewes, on November 22.

Hudson was banned for drink driving and did not want to be caught behind the wheel.

Police lost the van but saw it again at Offham, near Lewes, a short time later but Hudson failed to stop again.

He abandoned the van and tried to run off across a field but was caught after he slipped over.

Hove Crown Court was told a shotgun and cartridges were found when police searched his home.

He confessed that he did not have a shotgun license and knew he would not have been granted one.

Diane Gordon-Bassett, prosecuting, said Hudson had previously been given a 22-week suspended prison sentence for damaging a car and setting fire to a fence during an incident in December last year.

Daniel Fryer, defending, said: “Until November 2007 he was a successful businessman.

“His decorating business went bankrupt in 2002 but he continued to work to provide for his family.

“His business finally collapsed in 2007 and the severe financial difficulties that ensued caused him to go into a very quick downward spiral.

“It culminated in him offending and resorting to alcohol abuse.

“He separated from his wife and his life fell to pieces and towards the middle of this year he had hit rock bottom.”

Hudson has now started to rebuild his life, was back with his family and has sand his drinking is under control.

Mr Fryer added: “The shotgun was an old one and was used to hunt birds and animals on the land surrounding his home to provide for his family.

“He enjoys doing this and cooking the proceeds and being able to provide for his family at a time when he feels he is not providing in any other manner.”

Hudson admitted possessing a shotgun, criminal damage and driving offences and was jailed for 22 weeks.

He was also banned from driving for 18 months.