Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett: Derby pair fined six weeks' wages after drink-driving charge

Tom Lawrence (left) and Mason Bennett
Tom Lawrence (left) and Mason Bennett will appear in court later this month

Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett have been fined six weeks' wages by Derby County after the Rams pair were charged with drink-driving.

Lawrence, 25, and Bennett, 23, were arrested after a crash in the city on 24 September and are due to appear in court on 15 October.

The Championship club have also ordered the pair to serve 80 hours of community service and rehabilitation.

Derby said the fine was the maximum their contracts allowed.

The incident after a team night out that led to Wales midfielder Lawrence and striker Bennett being charged, also resulted in captain Richard Keogh being sidelined for up to 15 months with a knee injury.

The Rams said they had now completed their internal disciplinary hearing regarding Lawrence and Bennett, who will also have to attend a drink aware course as part of their rehabilitation.

"The club will not tolerate any of its players or staff behaving in a manner which puts themselves, their colleagues, and members of the general public at risk of injury or worse, or which brings the club into disrepute," a statement said.external-link

Both players were left out of last weekend's squad, but returned to play in Wednesday's draw at Barnsley and could feature at Pride Park on Saturday against Luton.

'I let you all down'

Bennett, who is Derby's youngest-ever player having made his debut at the age of 15, also released a statement saying that he "should have known better".

"On the night of Tuesday, 24 September, I made huge mistakes after consuming alcohol," the statement said. "What I did was wrong.

"Being a footballer and someone who young fans look up to, I know the example I set is key. I am ashamed.

"At 23 I am old enough, and I was brought up, to know better.

"I understand that such actions have serious consequences. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept the punishment that the club has issued.

"I have to and will learn from these events and will strive to be a better person.

"There's no excuse for what I've done. I'm sorry to my family, my friends, the club, all Derby supporters and to the wider football community, I let you all down."

Lawrence also offered contrition for what he described as "my indiscretions that night" in a statement on Derby's website,external-link published ahead of Saturday's game.

"It was a total error of judgement on my part, out of character for me and I am deeply disappointed in my behaviour and upset for my team-mate and our captain Richard Keogh," he said.

"Going forward, I will make every effort to make amends by working diligently to give something back to our local community and I will strive to repay all the faith and support I have received from everybody during my time at the club in the best way I know how, on the field of play."

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