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Gillingham FC striker Ruaridhri 'Rory' Donnelly fined after being caught driving without a full licence in Dock Head Road, Chatham

By Medway Messenger reporter

A Gills footballer was fined £700 after being caught driving without a full licence.

Ruaridhri “Rory” Donnelly, 25, only had a provisional licence when he got behind the wheel of his 62-plate Range Rover.

The striker, who said he was earning £1,400 a week with the club, pleaded guilty to the offence when he appeared at Medway Magistrates’ Court.

Rory Donnelly pleaded guilty at Medway Magistrates Court
Rory Donnelly pleaded guilty at Medway Magistrates Court

He told the court his ex-girlfriend had damaged things in his apartment and had threatened to damage his car, so he drove it 200 yards down the road.

A police spokesman said they were called to a disturbance in Dock Head Road at around 7pm on Saturday, April 15.

When officers arrived, Donnelly was seen driving his car. He was stopped and was arrested when officers discovered he only had a provisional licence.

Court documents gave his address as Marina Point West, Dock Head Road, Chatham, but Donnelly gave his address in court as Ardilea Drive, Belfast.

Magistrates handed the Northern Irish footballer three penalty points and a £700 fine, and ordered him to pay a £70 victim surcharge and £85 court costs, totalling £855, to be paid within 28 days.

Donnelly’s contract with the club has run out and he was suspended for non-footballing issues at the end of April, on the eve of the club’s biggest game of the season against Northampton Town.

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