Suspended sentence for drink drive man

A Banbridge man caught driving under the influence of alcohol has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Dessie Ruddock (67) from Hillhead Park was also banned for 18 months at last week’s court.

The offence occurred on 25 April when police were called to Hillhead Park. Ruddock was seen staggering towards his car. Officers spoke to him and could smell alcohol from his breath and noted his speech was slurred. He was arrested and shortly afterwards police noticed a bottle of vodka in his jacket pocket. He was convicted in January for a drink driving offence.

A solicitor said his widowed client suffers from a number of health complaints.

“In recent weeks he had a heart attack and was suffering extreme pain. The medication wasn’t not helping so he sought help in alcohol.”

The court also heard that Ruddock’s wife of 40 years died in 2012 and he was finding it very difficult to cope.

His solicitor said he was attending various counselling programmes and had turned a corner in dealing with his bereavement. Judge Ievers said she did not doubt Ruddock was a man facing a number of difficulties. “However your actions are putting others at risk.” Ruddock was warned that he must not drive until he is re-tested.

Judge Ivers said, “I do hope you can come to terms with your personal difficulties, but don’t go on the road when you have drink consumed.”