Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish was today banned from driving for nine months and fined £82,499 for two careless driving offences, including a crash after a
The England and Aston Villa ace stank of
Magistrates heard the 25-year-old was unsteady on his feet and wearing odd slippers when he stumbled from the wreckage in Dickens Heath, Solihull, West Midlands.
Grealish, who the judge was told takes home £55,000 a week, had also admitted a second charge of careless driving relating to allegations he drove without due care and attention on the M42 reaching speeds of up to 98mph, in October.
In dashcam footage, an officer could be heard saying ‘he’s at 80’ as Grealish travelled north along the M42 towards the Aston Villa training ground.
The footage ended before Grealish came to a halt near the venue, seconds after the police vehicle’s sirens were activated.
The England and Aston Villa ace (seen arriving at court today) stank of alcohol and was slurring his words after he ploughed his 4×4 into two vehicles and a wall on March 29
Sentencing, District Judge John Bristow, told the winger: ‘The offence on March 29 was committed six days after the national coronavirus lockdown was announced.
‘You should have been at home, you do not assert you had any proper reason not to be.
‘You should not have been driving on March 29 – this is a further aggravating feature.’
He added: ‘The two offences were committed within seven months of each other, you have caused damage by your driving and you have driven in an intimidating way at excessive speeds on a motorway.’
During the first offence in March, Grealish had spent the night at the flat of former Villa teammate Ross McCormack before getting behind the wheel of his high-powered vehicle at 8.40am the next morning.
CCTV showed Grealish reversing at speed into a parked Citroen van, before mounting a kerb, hitting a £30,000 Mercedes and then smashing into a nearby wall.
He then left the scene, leaving behind the damaged vehicles before police arrived and he was later charged with a string of motoring offences.
Grealish, of Barnt Green, Worcs., failed to appear before JPs last month because he was training with Villa but admitted driving without due care and attention.
The court heard he was expected to be banned from the roads as he already had six points on his licence from an earlier speeding offence.
Just over a week later, Grealish was caught breaching coronavirus rules again by visiting a London restaurant to celebrate teammate Ross Barkley’s birthday.
Today he was flanked by a security guard as he arrived at Birmingham Magistrates Court wearing a black suit, cream overcoat and black face mask.
He arrived on foot after his Range Rover pulled up outside court without him inside in an attempt to distract waiting photographers and camera crews.
The driver then got out to offer the assembled media a box of Cadbury Milk tray chocolates after Grealish made his way through the main entrance.
Grealish was allowed to sit on the court benches instead of the traditional dock for defendants as the case was outlined against him.
He was asked to confirm his name, date of birth and address as well as his guilty pleas to two counts of careless driving.
Photographs circulated of Grealish, wearing odd footwear, after the crash in March
A video grab showing Grealish’s damaged Range Rover after he crashed it after a lockdown party
In mitigation for the two offences of careless driving, Grealish’s lawyer John Dye, told the judge: ‘Mr Grealish acknowledges his driving on those two occasions was very poor.
‘He’s deeply ashamed about that. I often stand up here and we do represent all sorts of people, and (they) talk about remorse, but this is someone who is genuinely sorry.
‘Not just because reputationally this is problematic for him but he is genuinely sorry. He’s reflected on the way he’s driven.’
He added: ‘The big headline is he is deeply sorry, he’s deeply ashamed about being here at this court – his home court, in the circumstances he finds himself in. (He’s ) never been to court before; a man of good character, 25 years old.’