CELEBRITY

Kate Ritchie’s heartbreak over husband’s arrest

Stuart Webb is facing possible jail time

Kate Ritchie’s husband, Stuart Webb is once again facing court on drink-driving charges.

Seven years after being disqualified from driving for a similar offence, the former NRL player will attend a local Sydney court on April 16.

A NSW police statement confirmed that on March 26, a 38-year-old man – the car’s driver and only occupant – was stopped on a Sydney eastern suburb’s street by highway patrol after allegedly failing to stop at a red light.

Stuart was arrested after returning a positive roadside breath test and taken to Waverley Police Station where a breath analysis allegedly measured 0.083 and his licence was suspended.

The maximum penalty for mid-range drink driving is
a $2200 fine, plus a possible nine-month imprisonment with an automatic six-month disqualification from driving, which could be reduced to three if an interlock order is imposed – an interlock device is a breathalyser fitted to an individual’s car.

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(Credit: DIIMEX)

Stuart was disqualified from driving for nine months in 2012 after being breath-tested by police in southern Sydney. He admitted drinking five schooners and an unknown quantity of vodka and cranberry at the Bondi surf club beforehand.

Since marrying the former Home and Away star in 2010, Stuart – now a chef – has kept a low profile, rarely appearing on the red carpet with Kate.

The first reports of marital difficulties came in 2015 when eagle-eyed fans noticed that Stuart had stopped regularly appearing in Kate’s Instagram feed. She was also spotted without her wedding ring.

kate ritchie
(Credit: DIIMEX)

Insiders revealed that, at the time, the couple were struggling to balance Stuart’s antisocial restaurant working hours with family time and their then-13-month-old daughter, Mae.

Soon after, a source told New Idea the couple’s relationship was increasingly strained, with Kate refusing to confirm or deny that Stuart was based at their Bowral, NSW, home while she remained in Sydney for work.

Last year, she finally addressed the persistent rumours about a marriage breakdown, saying there was no truth to them.

“Yes, of course it is wrong. Yes, of course it is baseless. But I don’t want to say any more about it because I know that if I do then it will breathe life into it again and I don’t want to do that,” she said, adding, “I have had to learn not to let it affect. So I consciously refuse to let it affect me.”

kate ritchie
(Credit: Getty)

While not divulging any more about her relationship with Stuart, Kate was happy to talk about how important 4-year-old Mae is to her.

“She is undoubtedly the greatest achievement of my life,” she said. “I am most at ease with myself when I am with her.”

Kate celebrated her milestone 40th birthday in Italy without her husband and family. Later, she appeared to admit the solo trip had been significant. “I did the Italian escapade, but I’m done … I’m moving on,” she said.

But in December, the couple appeared to be back on track, making a rare public appearance together at Sydney’s Carols in the Domain, where they looked happy and relaxed.

In January, Kate revealed she’d enjoyed a much-needed extended holiday with Mae and Stuart after taking time off from her Nova radio job. “I had six weeks over Christmas with family. That always helps. We’ve had a lovely holiday,” she said.

Last week, an observer to the couple’s Randwick [Sydney] home noted that Stuart had not been seen leaving their house. They added that it was Kate, or the family’s nanny, who seemed to pick up and drop off Mae at childcare much of the time.

WATCH! Ex Home and Away actress Kate Ritchie is RETURNING to acting! 

For more, pick up the latest copy of New Idea on sale now!

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(Credit: NEW IDEA)

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