Fallen rugby star caught hiding in bush after fleeing police

A BANNED rugby star who mounted the pavement and dangerously drove his car at police was caught after a police dog sniffed him out and found him hiding in a garden.

Darren Eales, 24, was almost three times the drink drive limit when police attempted to pull him over after he was spotted driving erratically in Inveresk Village, East Lothian.

But after both vehicles came to halt and officers approached Eales’ car, the former Preston Lodge RFC player drove onto a footpath and almost collided with the stationary police car as he drove off.

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The car was then found dumped in nearby Prestonpans and Eales – who was banned from the sport for two years by Scottish Rugby after he was caught using steroids – was eventually found crouched down in a nearby garden.

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Eales, from Prestonpans, East Lothian, was subsequently found to be close to three times the drink drive limit when tested by officers.

The disgraced prop forward has now been banned from the road and his full sentence was deferred to next month.

Fiscal depute Pauline Thornton told Edinburgh Sheriff Court officers became suspicious of Eales vehicle as he travelled through the sedate Inveresk Village in the early hours of June 27 last year.

Ms Thornton said: “They used their usual blue lights to indicate for the car to stop and it did stop. But when officers got out of their car he drove off.

“The accused mounted the kerb, drove round the police car and drove off.

“The vehicle was then found abandoned and a [police] dog handler was sent for. The dog handler’s charge then found the accused hiding in a nearby garden.”

Eales admitted to driving dangerously, driving at a police vehicle at speed and mount and drive along a footpath at Inveresk Village, East Lothian, on June 27, 2015.

He also pleaded guilty to driving a vehicle with 62mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath at High Street, Prestonpans, on the same date. The legal limit is just 22mg.


Promising rugby player Eales played for his local team Preston Lodge RFC before being scouted by top Borders teams Kelso and Melrose.

But just weeks after signing his registration to play for both clubs he was tested positive for steroids on November 19 2014 after Scottish Rugby received a tip-off about the prop forward’s alleged use of banned substances.

Eales, who was previously seen as one of Preston Lodge’s most promising young players, tested positive for boldenone, trenbolone and oxymetholone and later admitted injecting and taking the drugs as pills.

Graham Ireland, Scottish Rugby’s head of regulation, said at the time the organisation has a “zero-tolerance” concerning its doping policy.

Mr Ireland said: “This violation is a firm reminder that testing can occur at any level of the game, anywhere and at any time. Scottish Rugby encourages anyone with intelligence as to doping offences to contact Ukad or ourselves.

“The steps taken by officials at Preston Lodge during this time were exemplary, in ensuring a clean and fair game, particularly when the league season was still under way.”

Eales, who works in construction and often posted pictures of his muscle gain on Facebook, was banned from all competitions until December 10, 2016.

Eales was also pictured by a local paper after he became the last accused to ever appear at the now-closed Haddington Sheriff Court in January last year.