A former professional jockey who changed his name by deed poll was last week given a suspended sentence and banned from the road having been convicted of careless driving while drunk.
Before the district court was Stephen Anderson, with an address at Ballinastoe Cottage, Ballinatone, Upper Rathdrum, charged with careless driving, exceeding the alcohol limit and driving without insurance.
Inspector Declan Dunne gave evidence that gardaí attended the scene of a traffic accident at Hybla, Monasterevin, on September 14, 2012. Anderson had lost control of his vehicle while overtaking and was subsequently arrested for drink driving. At the garda station, he was found to have a reading of 329mg of alcohol per 100ml of urine.
He had previous convictions for drink driving and driving without insurance.
Defence was Mr Declan Breen, who informed Judge Catherine Staines that his client had changed his name by deed poll to Devlin. Judge Staines told Insp Dunne to put both names, Anderson and Devlin, on the gardaí’s system.
Mr Breen explained that on the day of the offence Anderson had gone to Monasterevan to go to the bank, but the bank was closed and so he went for a drink. After falling into company he had “much too much to drink” and made the foolish decision to drive.
Due to his “contorted perception” he believed he had time to overtake other cars on the road, but ended up veering and made contact with a ditch.
Defence said that Anderson had been a professional jockey in his heyday, but had been left with neurological difficulties after being kicked in the head by a horse. He had turned to alcohol to ease the pain of his injury, Mr Breen said.
Remarking that it was fortunate he had not killed himself or anybody else, Judge Staines imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, a €300 fine and driving disqualifications of three years and six years.