Northern Ireland news

Rugby player convicted of having blade in public

Ryan Caldwell played rugby for Ulster and Ireland during his playing career

A FORMER Ulster and Ireland rugby player has been convicted of having a blade in public.

Ryan Cyril Caldwell was due to contest the charge against him, initially claiming he had the article for a fishing trip.

But at Belfast Magistrates' Court today the 33-year-old, of Drumart Drive in the city, entered a plea of guilty.

Caldwell, an ex-Ulster and Ireland lock, also played for Bath and Exeter Chiefs before injuries forced him to retire from professional rugby more than two years ago.

He was charged with having a blade at High Street in Belfast on April 29 this year.

In court, defence counsel Michael Boyd confirmed Caldwell was admitting the offence.

In January this year, Caldwell was sentenced to 12 months' probation for having ecstasy, with Mr Boyd telling a court that his client had a problem with recreational drugs.

Mr Boyd told District Judge Fiona Bagnall today that his client has now abstained from any drug-taking.

Caldwell was released on continuing bail to appear again in two weeks time for sentencing.

With the Courts Service confirming his conviction, he may be referred to the substance misuse court pilot programme.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news