Ben Gillies was missing wife Jackie when he was caught drink driving


Ben Gillies was struggling to ‘cope’ with his wife Jackie being away filming I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here when he crashed his car after a night of drinking.

The Silverchair drummer admitted he suffered a two-week alcohol relapse to deal with Jackie’s absence when he smashed his car into a pole in Newcastle on January 21.

The 38-year-old – who had been sober for four years prior to his binge – was told he was ‘very much at peril’ of going to jail when he appeared in Newcastle Local Court on Thursday.

Absence: Ben Gillies was struggling to 'cope' with his wife Jackie being away filming I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here when he crashed his car after a night of drinking

Absence: Ben Gillies was struggling to 'cope' with his wife Jackie being away filming I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here when he crashed his car after a night of drinking

Absence: Ben Gillies was struggling to ‘cope’ with his wife Jackie being away filming I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here when he crashed his car after a night of drinking

Ben had suffered ‘alcohol problems in the past’ and was struggling without the support of Jackie, his legal representative Craig Robinson said.

‘His wife went to South Africa to film a TV program,’ Mr Robinson told the court.

‘A condition of the program is that they don’t have any phones so he had no contact with her.

‘He wasn’t coping with that separation and that’s when he lapsed and consumed alcohol for a period of about two weeks, before and after the crash’. 

Struggled: The Silverchair drummer admitted he suffered a two-week alcohol relapse to deal with Jackie's absence when he smashed his car into a pole in Newcastle on January 21 (pictured, Jackie on I'm A Celebrity)

Struggled: The Silverchair drummer admitted he suffered a two-week alcohol relapse to deal with Jackie's absence when he smashed his car into a pole in Newcastle on January 21 (pictured, Jackie on I'm A Celebrity)

Struggled: The Silverchair drummer admitted he suffered a two-week alcohol relapse to deal with Jackie’s absence when he smashed his car into a pole in Newcastle on January 21 (pictured, Jackie on I’m A Celebrity)

Indeed, Ben admitted he was sleeping with Housewives of Melbourne star Jackie’s T-shirts at night because he missed her so much.

Speaking to the camp in a video message broadcast in her final week, he said: ‘I miss you like crazy.’

‘I sleep with your T-shirts at night, it is a little but weird. I smell them, that’s really weird,’ he added.

‘I am so unbelievably proud of you and some of the stuff that you’re doing in the jungle I just can’t believe it. You’re inspiring, you’re amazing, stay in there and win.’ 

In court, Mr Robinson said Ben’s drinking was now ‘under control’ and he felt remorseful that he could have killed or seriously injured someone that night. 

Oh dear: Ben's legal representative said: 'He wasn't coping with that separation and that's when he lapsed and consumed alcohol for a period of about two weeks, before and after the crash'

Oh dear: Ben's legal representative said: 'He wasn't coping with that separation and that's when he lapsed and consumed alcohol for a period of about two weeks, before and after the crash'

Oh dear: Ben’s legal representative said: ‘He wasn’t coping with that separation and that’s when he lapsed and consumed alcohol for a period of about two weeks, before and after the crash’

Missed: Indeed, Ben admitted he was sleeping with Housewives of Melbourne star Jackie's T-shirts at night because he missed her so much

Missed: Indeed, Ben admitted he was sleeping with Housewives of Melbourne star Jackie's T-shirts at night because he missed her so much

Missed: Indeed, Ben admitted he was sleeping with Housewives of Melbourne star Jackie’s T-shirts at night because he missed her so much

Magistrate Peter Barnett, SC, said: ‘He is just below the high-range [drink driving level] and has a high degree of moral culpability.

‘He accelerates away from a set of traffic lights, loses control and puts his motor vehicle into a power pole with a passenger in the car.

‘And he has a terrible driving record. For 18 years he has shown a complete disregard for other people’s safety.’

Mr Barnett eventually decided to avoid sending Gillies to jail or slapping him with a community service order.

He instead imposed an 18-month good behaviour bond, a $2,200 fine and a 12-month disqualification.

Narrow escape: Ben managed to avoid jail and was instead given an 18-month good behaviour bond, a $2,200 fine and a 12-month disqualification

Narrow escape: Ben managed to avoid jail and was instead given an 18-month good behaviour bond, a $2,200 fine and a 12-month disqualification

Narrow escape: Ben managed to avoid jail and was instead given an 18-month good behaviour bond, a $2,200 fine and a 12-month disqualification





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