Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Glamorgan cricketer living in Belfast car gets drink-driving ban

By Alan Erwin

A former international cricketer discovered drink-driving was living in his car after being put out of sheltered accommodation, a court has heard.

South African-born Rodney Ontong, who captained Glamorgan during a first-class career spanning two decades, was fined and disqualified for 18 months over the incident in Belfast.

He is also to pay compensation for a separate offence of making off without paying for £64 worth of petrol.

The 61-year-old, of Elm Court in Belfast, appeared before the city's Magistrates Court in connection with four separate cases.

He denies causing criminal damage to door locks at the sheltered housing scheme in April.

Ontong is also still to confirm if he intends to contest charges of going equipped for theft and stealing an Xbox controller, headphones, notebook and a male grooming kit from a Tesco store the following month.

But he was convicted of taking the petrol from a garage on May 21, and driving with excess alcohol at Alderwood Hill, Belfast, six days later.

Ontong came to the UK from South Africa in the early 1970s. Following the break-up of his marriage, the cricketer moved to Northern Ireland in a bid to continue contact with his family.

Since then he has suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Defence solicitor Hamill Clawson said: "His life has spiralled out of control."

He told District Judge Fiona Bagnall his client had been removed from sheltered accommodation because of the criminal damage allegations and was living in his car.

Banning him from driving for 18 months, Mrs Bagnall also imposed fines totalling £500 for the two offences.

Belfast Telegraph

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