Darron Gibson given 200 hours community work for hit-and-run
The Ireland midfielder pleaded guilty to three offences in Manchester this morning
Everton footballer Darron Gibson arrives at Trafford Magistrates’ Court in Sale, Cheshire, where he will appear accused of crashing his sports car into a cyclist while drink-driving. Photo: Tony Spencer/PA Wire
Republic of Ireland and Everton midfielder Darron Gibson has been sentenced to a 12-month community order and banned from driving for 20 months after he ploughed into three cyclists and drove off.
Gibson (27), was also over the legal drink-drive limit when his vehicle mounted the pavement in Bowdon, Cheshire on August 16th 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 from the injured trio before he pulled into a nearby petrol station . 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 noticed 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.
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.
The Republic of Ireland international 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 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 told to pay £295 court costs.
Lead prosecutor Subhanar Chowdhury said the defendant fully acknowledged to police what he had done.
Gibson told police that he had been out the previous evening with Everton team-mates and had drunk “copious amounts of alcohol”. He said he later arrived home and had an argument with his wife which led to him leaving in his car.
Before sentencing, chair of the bench Susanne O’Connell asked the footballer, standing in the dock, if he wished to say anything to the court.
He replied: “I am extremely apologetic and it was completely out of character. I never usually do anything like that.”
Noting he was a father of two young children, she said: “Imagine if a police officer came to your house and told you your children had been involved in a car accident, how would you feel?”
Gibson said: “Angry.”
Ms O’Connell continued: “Then you find out that the driver was over the drink drive limit. You could also face the fact that your children could have been killed and you could have been that driver.
“How does that make you feel today?”
Gibson replied: “Embarrassed and sorry.”
Ms O’Connell asked: “If you could turn back the clock?”
Gibson: “I would not have gone out the night before, never mind get in the car.”
The court heard
Gibson had no previous convictions and had driven since the age of 19. Derry-born Gibson was told his ban could be reduced by five months if he completed a drink-driving awareness course. He left the court without comment.