Former Burnley FC footballer Clarke Carlisle has pleaded guilty to a drink-driving offence that occurred two days before he attempted suicide.
The 35-year-old, still bearing the facial scars from his December 22nd suicide attempt in a crash which left him in hospital and then a mental health unit until mid-January, spoke clearly as he stood in the dock at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, North London.
The former Professional Footballers’ Association chairman admitted failing to provide a sample on December 20th.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence on the same date, when police spotted a Mercedes travelling in an “erratic” manner, according to prosecutor Zahid Hussain.
Deputy District Judge Margaret Dodds told the former Blackpool and Preston North End player he should appear at the same court for sentencing on May 14th. She also ordered reports be made in the case after being told of Carlisle’s medical situation.
He had been spotted by police “swerving” his Mercedes and nearly hitting a lorry in Pentonville Road, north London, on December 20th, about 7am.
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”.
When the officers stopped and spoke to Carlisle, “alcohol was smelled on his breath”, Mr Hussain added.
The court was told Carlisle did not blow long enough in the breathalyser when he was tested at the roadside to provide an adequate sample.
The court was told Carlisle had been involved in excess-drinking offences in 1999 and 2011.
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 there were “ongoing mental health issues.”
The deputy district judge told Carlisle he would get credit for his early guilty plea but noted he has a “bad record”.
Carlisle was released on unconditional bail. He did not want to make further comment outside the court. Since the incident, Carlisle has said he felt he “had to die” after losing his job as a pundit on ITV, going on a gambling spree and being charged with the drink-driving offence.