Leeds & West Yorkshire

Sheffield United footballer Oli McBurnie fined for drink-driving

Oli McBurnie Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Oli McBurnie was fined £28,500 and banned for 16 months at Leeds Magistrates' Court

Premier League footballer Oli McBurnie has been fined £28,500 for drink-driving after reaching an "idiotic" speed in his high-powered Audi.

The 24-year-old Scotland and Sheffield United striker admitted the charge at Leeds Magistrates' Court and was also banned from driving for 16 months.

Police stopped McBurnie near his home in Garforth, Leeds, at 01:16 GMT on 19 October 2019.

He had 53 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. The limit is 35.

The disqualification of 16 months will be reduced to a year if he completes a driver-rehabilitation course.

The £20,000-a-week footballer, who lives on Holly Bank in Garforth, was stopped in his Audi R8 after an officer saw him visit a garage and speed away.

Philip Morris, prosecuting, said: "He drove off at considerable speed to the consternation of [the officer] who was heard to describe his speed as 'idiotic' during the course of the exchange at the roadside."

McBurnie was stopped in a 20mph zone in a residential area, the court heard.

Despite not smoking, he had visited the garage to buy cigarettes for a female friend who was with him in the car and had not realised he was over the limit, the court heard.

The footballer changed his plea to guilty on the eve of a trial.

John Dye, mitigating, said: "He finds himself in this position ultimately trying to be helpful, and rather stupid in the circumstances.

"He was not thinking straight and he apologises for that and is genuinely sorry for the trouble he had caused."

District Judge Michael Fanning said he reduced the fine from 150% of his weekly wage by 5% for his guilty plea, down from £30,000 to £28,500.

The footballer must pay £621 prosecution costs plus a £181 surcharge.

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