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Clarke Carlisle in the dock over drink driving charge

ADMISSION: Clarke Carlisle

FORMER SOCCER star Clarke Carlisle has admitted drinking and driving. The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to failing to provide a sample to police on December 20 at London's Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court.

Carlisle, who has played for a host of clubs including Blackpool, QPR and Burnley, also admitted driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence on the same date. Police saw a Mercedes being driven in an "erratic" manner, prosecutor Zahid Hussain said.

Carlisle, who after retiring from the sport became the chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association, recently revealed he was attempting to take his own life when he was hit by a lorry on the A64 near York on December 22. The case was delayed whilst he was treated in hospital. The court heard Carlisle's Mercedes had been spotted nearly hitting a lorry in Pentonville Road, north London.

Mr Hussain said the car was seen "swerving in the lane, to the pavement on the nearside, almost mounting the pavement" and the tyres were "grinding on the kerb".

The court was told officers smelled alcohol on Carlisle's breath but he did not blow long enough into a breathalyser to provide an adequate sample. He was taken to a police station but would not co-operate and asked to speak to his solicitor, Mr Hussain said.

Krystelle Wass, defending, told the court: "Two days after the incident Mr Carlisle attempted suicide, which is why matters have taken some time to come to court." She said the star was dealing with "ongoing mental health issues".
The court was told Carlisle had also been involved in "excess drinking offences" in 1999 and 2011.

Deputy District Judge Margaret Dodds ordered reports be prepared after being told of his medical situation. Carlisle was released on unconditional bail and will be sentenced on May 14.

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