The Ulster Unionist Party has suspended one of its former MLAs after he pleaded guilty to drink-driving – again.
Derek Hussey, a UUP councillor on Derry City and Strabane District Council, no longer has the party’s whip.
The UUP made the announcement on Friday, after his court appearance on Thursday.
The party said: “Councillor Derek Hussey has been suspended by the Ulster Unionist Party. We await the judge’s final comments.”
The news of his conviction emerged in a newspaper report on Friday morning.
The report stated that he had pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, driving without due care and attention, and failing to report an accident at Strabane Magistrates’ Court.
The News Letter put this account to Mr Hussey, and he confirmed it was correct.
It relates to an incident on the Drumquin Road, Castlederg, on September 16 last year.
Asked if there was anything he wished to say on the matter, Mr Hussey said: “Not at this moment in time, because the case is not finished...
“The case is not finished until the sentencing is declared. And I have no further comment.”
In April 2011, the councillor – then aged 62 – admitted driving while twice the alcohol limit the previous November.
He was caught when police were called to an incident on the Orchard Road, Strabane, where they found a Nissan Qashqai in a ditch and Mr Hussey (who was MLA for West Tyrone from 1998 to 2007) standing by the roadside.
District Judge Liam McNally banned him from driving for three years, and warned him that if he got behind the wheel again while under the influence of alcohol, a jail sentence could be possible.