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DE BRUIN CAR RAP; Olympic star's hubby to appear in court.


OLYMPIC swimmer Michelle de Bruin's husband is to face a careless driving charge in court.

Erik de Bruin, 40, below, will appear at Waterford District Court next Thursday.

He was charged after a motorist reported him to a Garda Traffic Watch phoneline.

The Dutch former athlete, now a freelance journalist, is alleged to have broken a red light after overtaking cars stopped in the tiny Co Kilkenny village of Mullinavat.

The motorist who reported his driving felt so strongly that he decided to go the full way in seeking a prosecution.

He claimed de Bruin of Kellsgrange, Co Kilkenny, drove his Mercedes through the lights into the flow of possible on-coming traffic.

Father-of-two de Bruin is expected to contest the allegations.

A senior Garda source confirmed that Eric De Bruin has been charged with careless driving over an alleged incident reported at Mullinavat.

He added:"In most cases motorists are happy the alleged offender has been cautioned but in this case, the complainant was anxious that it would go the full distance.

"When that happens, statements are taken from both parties and the complaining motorist must be prepared to go into court to give evidence about the alleged offence.

The Thomastown Traffic Watch service to which the incident was reported was the first of its kind established in the country.

Michelle de Bruin - then Smith - was the toast of Ireland after winning three gold medals in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

But two years later, she was banned from competition after her urine sample in a drugs test was found to have been tampered with.

She is now studying to be a lawyer.


CASE: The de Bruins
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 31, 2004
Next Article:Husband accused of killing.

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