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Pensioner ‘no longer wishes to drive’ as judge hands down three-year ban

A Richhill man with two previous convictions for drink driving has informed a judge that he no longer wishes to drive as he was handed a three-year disqualification.

Trevor Ruddell, 69, of Sleepy Valley, appeared at Armagh Magistrates’ on Tuesday charged with driving whilst unfit through alcohol.

The incident occurred at around noon on February 3, this year, when police were called to a road traffic collision involving a lorry and a Renault on a roundabout on the Legacorry Road, Richhill.

When police interviewed the driver of the lorry he explained that the defendant who was behind the wheel of the Renault had swerved into his lane on the roundabout before they collided.

Court also heard that the car then veered off and hit a fence.

Ruddell told police that he did not know what had happened.

At the police station, a breath test was taken off the defendant which read 91 mg of alcohol per 100mls of breath – almost three times the legal limit.

Ruddell has two previous convictions for drink-driving and has what defence counsel called “a longstanding problem with alcohol”.

The defence explained that this event happened shortly after the breakdown of the defendant’s marriage which they suggested may have explained his actions.

Court heard that Ruddell had gone out to shops on the morning of this incident with the defence accepting he had consumed alcohol prior to leaving the house.

They added that the defendant was attending counselling at his church to deal with his problem and that he had not consumed alcohol since that day.

They added that Ruddell no longer wished to drive.

District Judge Paul Copeland banned the defendant from driving for three years.

Ruddell was also ordered to pay a fine of £450, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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