Former international cricketer banned from driving

Laganside Court in Belfast

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

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 former all-rounder, with an address at 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 this year.

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 in the city six days later.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard how Ontong's top-level sporting career was ended by a road accident in 1988.

Following the break-up of his marriage the cricketer moved to Northern Ireland in a bid to continue contact with his family, according to his lawyer.

Since then he has suffered from depression and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Defence solicitor Hamill Clawson said: "His life has spiralled out of control."

Banning him from driving for 18 months, District Judge Fiona Bagnal also imposed fines totalling £500 for the two offences.


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