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Dublin: 1°C Friday 7 May 2021

Clarke Carlisle guilty of drink driving days before suicide attempt

The former ITV pundit drove “erratically” through north London two days before his failed suicide bid.

Clarke Carlisle leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in London today.
Clarke Carlisle leaving Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in London today.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

FORMER PREMIER LEAGUE footballer Clarke Carlisle has been banned from driving for three years after pleading guilty to a drink-driving offence.

The 35-year-old has also been ordered to do 150 hours of community work after police stopped his Mercedes after it narrowly missed a lorry in north London on 20 December.

At a hearing in March, the court heard Carlisle’s car had been spotted “swerving” and “almost mounting the pavement”. He also admitted that he refused to provide a breathing sample to police following his arrest.

He was taken to Islington police station but did not cooperate and said: “Sergeant, I would like to speak to my counsel first.”

The court heard that the former chairman of the PFA had also been involved in excess-drinking offences in 1999 and 2011.

District judge Susan Williams told Carlisle that, although she recognised the “positive contribution” he has made to football, she had to sentence him.

“If you are not in control of your vehicle in a road in central London you represent a danger to people,” she said.

Dark Place

Lisa Judge, defending Clark Carlisle, described the arrest as having happened while he was “in an extremely dark place in terms of his own life.”

Two days after the incident Carlisle attempted suicide by throwing himself in front of a lorry near York – putting him in a coma for several weeks.

The former Burnley, Blackpool, Leeds United and Watford defender said he believed he “had to die” after losing his job as with ITV, going on a gambling spree and being charged with the drink-driving offence.

The judge urged Carlisle to find a clinic for his mental health problems.

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Donal Lucey

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