Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Drink-drive judge had bottle of gin on the passenger seat

A former judge caught on the motorway nearly three times the drink-drive limit has been banned from driving for two years.

Bruce Macmillan, at the time a circuit judge sitting at Liverpool Crown Court, was also arrested by police three weeks later while on bail for the first offence drunk in charge of his car, with a half-empty bottle of gin on the passenger seat, Chorley Magistrates' Court in Lancs, was told.

The 63-year-old admitted one count of driving with excess alcohol on the M6 near Chorley, Lancs, on August 27 and one count of being drunk in charge in Toxteth, Liverpool, on September 17.

He was banned from driving for two years and fined £1,200 by magistrates, who were told he was now on a rehabilitation course for alcoholics after the pressures of his job overcame him.

Macmillan was called to the bar 40 years ago and served as a circuit judge with “perfect distinction” for 16 years, but resigned from his £128,000-a-year job in September and was now a “broken man” the court was told.

Macmillan pleaded guilty to the drink-driving charge at an earlier hearing and guilty to the second charge yesterday.

He handed over his driving licence and sat, head bowed, as his lawyer Stuart Driver QC explained his “fall from grace”.

He said Macmillan had taken a month off work last year with “stress-related problems” but may have resumed his duties too soon.

He was “wrestling with some profound personal problems” and in August when he was first arrested he had “cracked under the strain”.

“He accepts at that point his career was ruined. He was a broken man immediately.”

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