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COURT SHAME: Boozy barrister Keith Yardy caught double the drink drive limit

Friday 14th February 2020

A LEADING barrister’s dreams of becoming a crown court judge lie in tatters today after being caught drunk at the wheel of his car.

Keith Yardy (54) of Blacksmith Drive, Grove Green, was more than twice the limit when police stopped him after an evening drinking wine with friends.

The lawyer, who was called to the Bar in 1988, said his prospects of becoming a recorder or district judge are now over.

Remorseful Yardy told Maidstone Magistrates Court: “That ambition is now in tatters. This didn’t happen to me, I did it to myself.”

Prosecuting, Ben Wild said: “On January 25 at around 9.15pm, officers noticed the defendant’s car driving over the speed limit, swerving across the road. He has no previous convictions and admitted he had been drinking alcohol to police.”

Defending himself, Yardy said he had been driving that way to “avoid a number of potholes” even though it is “not an excuse”.

Yardy said: “This is the most stupid, inexplicable thing I have ever done in my life. I went up to feed my horse and bumped into some friends on the way back. We had three or four glasses of wine together which I deeply regret, as I know the only safe alcohol limit is 0.

“Sitting in police custody for 11 hours was a deeply isolating feeling. No pun intended, but it was a truly sobering experience. Thirty-seven years of driving and 54 years of age with not even a parking ticket to my name, let alone a criminal offence.

“I did this to myself. I won’t be able to take my dad, who is in his 80s, to his cancer appointments.”

The court heard Yardy has seasonally affected disorder, which is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter.

Chairman of the bench, Jane Day said: “We can clearly see you are deeply remorseful about what happened, and that you know the dangers of drink driving.”

Yardy pleaded guilty to drink driving and was disqualified from 18 months. He was also ordered to pay £495 in court costs.

Speaking outside court, Mr Yardy said: "It's not just embarrassment i feel, but absolutely a sense of shame."