Republic of Ireland and Everton footballer Darron Gibson was yesterday given a 12-month community order and banned from driving for 20 months after he ploughed into three cyclists and drove off.
Gibson, aged 27, was over the legal drink-drive limit when his vehicle mounted the pavement in Bowdon, Cheshire, and struck the men who had stopped at the roadside to fix a broken bicycle chain.
The ex-Manchester United midfielder then sped off in his black Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo before he pulled into a nearby petrol station on the morning of August 16.
Police were called by a concerned garage attendant after Gibson hit a petrol pump and began filling his vehicle with fuel while wearing no shoes.
Officers detected an “obvious strong smell of alcohol” on Gibson’s breath when they attended, and the footballer and his vehicle were then positively identified by one of the cyclists.
Father of two Gibson was arrested and taken to a police station where he gave a positive reading of 57 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath — the legal limit being 35.
Yesterday, he entered guilty pleas at Trafford Magistrates’ Court to driving with excess alcohol, driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after a accident had occurred.
Gibson must perform 200 hours of unpaid work as part of his community sentence and was ordered to pay £4,500 (€6,125) in damages caused to one of the bikes, a carbon composite model which was written off.
He was told to pay £1,000 compensation to the cyclist who he directly hit and £100 each to the two other men. Gibson was also ordered to pay £295 court costs.
Prosecutor Subhanar Chowdhury said the defendant fully acknowledged to police what he had done. He had told police he had been out the previous evening with Everton teammates and had drunk “copious amounts of alcohol”. He later arrived home and had an argument with his wife which led to him leaving in his car.
Before sentencing, he told chair of the bench Susanne O’Connell: “I am extremely apologetic and it was completely out of character. I never usually do anything like that.”
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