Glasgow & West Scotland

Ryan Sinclair's horses 'may be sold' to pay fine

A man who was caught in charge of a car while over the drink-drive limit may have to sell his horses to pay a fine.

Ryan Sinclair, 19, admitted the offence outside The River Inn, in Houston, Renfrewshire, on 8 September.

Paisley Sheriff Court heard the teenager claimed he would struggle to pay a fine while living on benefits, despite owning three horses.

Sheriff Paul Crozier has ordered a valuation on the animals and deferred sentence until later this month.

The court heard how Sinclair, from Houston, was seen by two off duty police officers going into a Ford Focus outside The River Inn.

Keys removed

They advised him to get a taxi and Sinclair said he would.

A short time later, the officers saw him return to the vehicle, climb in and put the keys into the ignition.

They alerted uniformed colleagues and told Sinclair who they were, before removing the car key and detaining him until support arrived.

Sinclair, who was uninsured and gave his brother's name at the scene, was later found to be three-times the legal limit.

In court, his defence agent Terry Gallanagh said Sinclair apologised for his actions and was currently receiving benefits of £55 per week, which would make it difficult for him to pay a fine.

'Restricted income'

Sheriff Crozier sought clarification on information contained in background reports which revealed that the accused owned three horses.

"He has a very restricted income but he owns three horses," he said. "How can that be?"

The lawyer said that his client paid nothing towards their upkeep and added: "They stay in a friend's field."

The sheriff asked what value the animals had and when Sinclair said he thought it would be £100 to £150 each, he responded: "I find that very hard to believe."

Sheriff Crozier said he was instructing Sinclair to get a genuine valuation for the horses from a livestock auctioneer before sentencing him later this month.

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