Stoke City frontman Saido Berahino has been banned from the roads for 30 months after he was found guilty of drink-driving.
The 25-year-old striker was found to be three times over the limit when he was pulled over by police in the early hours of February 18. He claimed he had been forced to take the wheel after being threatened at knife point by thieves who stole his watch, diamond chains and a bracelet.
Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard he had told the muggers ‘just take everything’ before driving for 30 seconds to get away. But magistrates deemed that Berahino’s girlfriend, who was sober at the time, could have been in the driver’s seat instead.
The Burundian star claimed that his girlfriend’s ex-partner had arrived with two men armed with a gun and a knife outside the VQ Cafe in Bloomsbury, just before 3am. He said he was then chased down the road, before tripping and falling to the ground. It was then that the men slashed his t-shirt and shouted: ‘What you got for me? What you got for me?’ CCTV footage from the night played in court showed him being attacked by two men.
‘I was scared of the guys who knew who I was and robbed me. They might just come back and find me in the same place where I was,’ he testified before the court.
Katie Weiss, prosecuting, said police pulled the footballer over after seeing the matte black Range Rover drive off from outside the restaurant. They described him as smelling of alcohol, with slurred speech and blood shot eyes.
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The limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. When he was arrested, the court heard he told police ‘this is bulls**t’, adding: ‘You’re treating me like criminal. I’m the victim.’
Berahino was disqualified from driving for 30 months and ordered to pay a £75,000 fine, as well as £870 in other costs.