Footballer Darron Gibson facing prison after second drink-drive charge in less than three years

Update - 11.55am: Republic of Ireland footballer Darren Gibson has been told he faces jail after admitting a second drink-drive charge in less than three years.

The St Patrick's Day incident in Sunderland, England, followed another serious collision in 2015 when his car hit three cyclists who were fixing a wheel on the pavement.

Gibson, who played for Manchester United, Everton and Sunderland, knocked a taxi's wing mirror off in West Boldon in the latest incident, but carried on and smashed into parked cars in Dovedale Road, Fulwell, Sunderland, as he drove to the club's training ground.

His grey 4x4 ended up on the pavement and the road was strewn with debris.

The taxi driver had followed him, thinking Gibson would stop to swap details, but the footballer carried on for some distance until the final series of collisions.

Darron Gibson leaving court today. Pic: PA

Chairman of the bench David Randall said there was a suspicion the footballer had come off the main road and was using a back road through an estate after the initial collision.

The magistrate said the offence was aggravated by the length of time over which it occurred, and his failure to stop or report the damage caused to the taxi.

He said: "Mr Gibson, this is the second offence in less than three years."

Aggravating factors included the damaged caused to the parked vehicles.

Speaking about sentencing, Mr Randall said: "We feel this aggravates it into the custody band."

Gibson will be sentenced on May 25 after medical reports are provided.

Henry Blackshaw, defending, said Gibson was undergoing treatment for "underlying medical causes" at the time of this collision and the 2015 smash.

Gibson, who lives in Hale, Cheshire, England, was handed an interim disqualification and granted unconditional bail ahead of sentence.

He was driven away with his wife and parents in a black people carrier and did not speak to reporters as he left court.

11.05am: Footballer Darron Gibson was three times over drink-drive limit in car crash, court hears

Republic of Ireland footballer Darron Gibson was three times over the drink-drive limit when he smashed his Mercedes 4x4 into parked cars on St Patrick's Day, a court has heard.

The 30-year-old former Manchester United, Everton and Sunderland midfielder admitted drink-driving during a brief appearance at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court in England.

Gibson, whose contract with Sunderland was terminated after he was charged, knocked a taxi's wing mirror off in West Bolton but carried on and smashed into parked cars in Dovedale Road, Fulwell, Sunderland, as he tried to get to the club's training ground.

Rebecca Laverick, prosecuting, said an initial roadside breath test recorded 105 microgrammes of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The legal limit in the UK is 35.

When he was formally tested again at the police station he was found to have 95mg of alcohol per 100ml and he was charged using that lower figure.

Mrs Laverick said: "The defendant was spoken to at the roadside, police officers established he was under the influence.

"He said he had had two drinks the night before.

"That didn't coincide with the manner he was presenting in, his speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol."

Mrs Laverick said Gibson had a previous conviction for drink-driving and driving without due care and attention in September 2015.

7.47am: Footballer Darron Gibson due in court charged with drink-driving

Republic of Ireland footballer Darron Gibson is appearing in court charged with drink-driving following a St Patrick's Day crash.

The 30-year-old midfielder was on his way to meet colleagues at Sunderland's Academy of Light when he was involved in a collision on Dovedale Road on Saturday, March 17.

The former Manchester United and Everton player, from Hale, Cheshire, was charged with drink-driving and is appearing at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

After he was charged Gibson and Sunderland ended his contract by mutual consent.

- PA


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