Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Ex-soccer star Hendry gets road ban

Published 22/04/2015

Former Scotland football captain Colin Hendry
Former Scotland football captain Colin Hendry

Former Scotland football captain Colin Hendry has been banned from the road for 17 months after he dropped his fight against a drink-driving charge.

Lawyers for Hendry, 49, had called for a "special reasons" hearing today after arguing that the amount of alcohol he consumed did not tally with the excess alcohol reading recorded by police.

But the case went straight to sentencing after Blackpool Magistrates' Court heard that tests showed he was definitely over the legal limit.

Hendry was arrested by police after being stopped while driving a blue Ford Focus in Church Road, Lytham, Lancashire, at 1.05am on February 21.

He provided a reading of 63 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit in England is 35 micrograms.

Magistrates also fined him £110 and ordered to him pay £200 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £20.

Hendry, of Coopers Row, Lytham, had a long playing career, captaining his country in the 1998 World Cup and appearing for a series of clubs including Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers and Glasgow Rangers.

Hendry, who has no previous convictions, opted to go on a driver improvement programme which will reduce his ban to 13 months if he completes the course.

When Hendry admitted drink-driving last month, his solicitor, Gwyn Lewis, said either the ex-defender had some alcohol in his system that he was unaware of or he had a "quite rare" metabolism which meant a correct reading would not be given.

Today, Mr Lewis said a report from their instructed forensic scientist concluded that, based on his metabolism, Hendry would have "perhaps" given a reading of 41 micrograms while in his car - still over the limit.

The court heard that an officer in a marked police vehicle noticed Hendry's vehicle emerge from a side road in a "brisk manner" and then appeared to accelerate as its speed did not fall below 50mph in both 20mph and 30mph zones.

Hendry was stopped when his vehicle's offside wheel was seen to cross double white lines and went on to give a positive roadside test before he gave two further samples at the police station.

Mr Lewis, mitigating, said: "I have been instructed by my client to apologise that this has come before the court.

"He is someone of relatively advanced years to come before the court for the first time.

"He apologises for his behaviour.

"He still does not understand it (the reading). He will never understand how it is we come to the figure of 63 ... he told the officers the levels of alcohol he consumed and the quantities."

The solicitor said Hendry had not drunk any alcohol for seven weeks before the incident but had decided to have a drink following "some emotional upset at what happened on a particular day".

He went on: "He fell into the trap, which many an individual can do, where they take a decision to drive when they had a drink.

"I am sure there will be no repetition and he will not come before the court again."

Mr Lewis said it would not be the case that Hendry would lose his job as he was someone who frequently rode a bicycle but his finances were "to say the least complicated".

He said: "Effectively the position that he finds himself in is he was made bankrupt a number of years ago and his position will continue to be pretty meagre. The situation will change when he can draw a pension, something that will begin in May.

"Whatever financial penalty you impose, we would ask that he be allowed six weeks to pay it."

:: Hendry was arrested at the weekend over an allegation that he breached a restraining order by contacting an ex-girlfriend.

He had previously reportedly pestered beautician Sarah Kinder after the breakdown of their relationship.

Hendry began seeing her following the death of his wife, Denise, 42, in 2009 from botched cosmetic surgery.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: " A 49-year-old man from Lytham St Annes was arrested on April 18 on suspicion of harassment and breach of a restraining order and bailed pending further inquiries until April 24."

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph