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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018

Irish midfielder Darron Gibson avoids prison over second drink-driving offence

The Derry native was given a two-year community order and banned from driving for 40 months.

Darron Gibson leaving South Tyneside Magistrates Court earlier.
Darron Gibson leaving South Tyneside Magistrates Court earlier.
Image: Owen Humphreys

FORMER IRELAND AND Sunderland midfielder Darron Gibson has been spared prison despite admitting a second serious drink-driving offence.

Gibson’s contract with Sunderland was terminated in March after he smashed his Mercedes 4×4 into a taxi and five parked cars while on his way to the club’s training ground.

The 30-year-old wept during the hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, where it was said he had used sleeping tablets and drunk from a litre bottle of vodka the night before the crash.

A roadside test recorded him having 105mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath — reduced at the police station to 95mg — when the legal limit is 35mg.

Gibson had already been banned from driving in 2015 when his car hit three cyclists while he was over the limit.

In the latest incident, Gibson, who also played for Manchester United and Everton, knocked a taxi’s wing mirror off, but carried on and smashed into parked cars.

Magistrates at the previous hearing indicated Gibson may be jailed.

But District Judge Roger Elsey heard Gibson had psychological issues at the time and sentenced him to a two-year community order, with 250 hours of unpaid work, including 30 days of rehabilitation activity.

Gibson must also pay one of the drivers £800 compensation, costs and a victim surcharge of £85 each and was banned from driving for 40 months.

The Derry native has played for Ireland 27 times, with the last of his caps coming against Scotland in November 2014.

© AFP 2018 

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