Northern Ireland

Drink drive ex-MLA Derek Hussey banned from driving

A councillor and former assembly member has been banned from driving for three years after being convicted of drink driving for a second time.

At Strabane Magistrates Court on Thursday, Derek Hussey, 62, from Garvetagh Road in Castlederg admitted driving while twice the legal limit.

Police found him beside a crashed Nissan Qashqai at Orchard Road in Strabane on 26 November last year.

Mr Hussey was an MLA between 1998 and 2007.

Police officers who were called to the single vehicle accident detected a smell of drink from the defendant and he admitted that he had been drinking whiskey in a nearby hotel earlier in the evening.

A subsequent breath test revealed a reading of 76mg in his breath, 41mg above the limit.

Hussey's solicitor, Michael Neeson, said the road had been frosty on the night and that this may have contributed to the vehicle ending up in a ditch.

He added however that the decision to drive was "foolish in the extreme".

Mr Hussey has been an Ulster Unionist member of Strabane District Council since 1989.

District Judge Mr Liam McNally warned Mr Hussey that if drink drives again, a jail sentence could be on the cards.