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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Republic of Ireland star Darron Gibson pleads guilty to hitting a cyclist while drink-driving and fleeing the scene

Everton footballer Darron Gibson (centre) arrives at Trafford Magistrates' Court in Sale, Cheshire, where he will appear accused of crashing his sports car into a cyclist while drink-driving. Photo credit: Tony Spencer/PA Wire
Everton footballer Darron Gibson (centre) arrives at Trafford Magistrates' Court in Sale, Cheshire, where he will appear accused of crashing his sports car into a cyclist while drink-driving. Photo credit: Tony Spencer/PA Wire

Republic of Ireland and Everton footballer Darron Gibson has pleaded guilty to crashing his sports car into a cyclist while drink-driving and then fleeing the scene.

Gibson, 27, was behind the wheel of his black Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo when it ploughed into three cyclists who had stopped at the side of the road to fix a broken chain.

The cyclist directly hit by Gibson's car received cuts to his legs, elbow and hand and his £4,500 carbon composite bike was written off.

The ex-Manchester United midfielder was said to have driven off at speed before he pulled into a petrol station nearby in his home town of Bowdon, Cheshire, and collided with a petrol pump.

Police were called by a concerned petrol attendant after Gibson then got out of his car with no shoes on and filled his vehicle with fuel on the morning of August 16 .

Today, the Republic of Ireland international entered guilty pleas at Trafford Magistrates' Court to driving with excess alcohol, driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after a accident had occurred.

Chair of the bench Susanne O'Connell told Gibson that the failure to stop offence was "serious enough" to merit a community penalty.

Gibson will speak to the Probation Service at court before sentencing takes place later.

Subhanar Chowdhury, prosecuting, said the three cyclists stopped in Park Road near the junction of Dunham Road and moved to the pavement to fix the chain.

Witnesses described Gibson driving "too fast" on to Park Road, which resulted in him mounting the pavement and colliding with the men.

Gibson then drove to the nearby Shell garage in Dunham Road, the court heard.

Mr Chowdhury said: "As he pulled on to the petrol station forecourt, he has collided with the raised kerb and fuel pump, causing damage to the lower part of the pump.

"He then gets out of his car, was described as not wearing any shoes and he has attempted to fill his vehicle."

Police noticed an "obvious strong smell of alcohol" on Gibson's breath when they attended, and the footballer and his vehicle were then positively identified by one of the cyclists.

Gibson was arrested and taken to a police station where he gave a positive reading of 57 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35.

Mr Chowdhury said the defendant fully acknowledged in interview what he had done.

Gibson told police that he had been out the previous evening with Everton team-mates and had drunk "copious amounts of alcohol".

He said he later arrived home and had an argument with his wife which led to him leaving in his car.

Gibson was banned from driving for 20 months and sentenced to a 12-month community order, with an unpaid work requirement of 200 hours.

He was ordered to pay compensation of £4,500 for the damaged bicycle and £1,000 to the injured biker Philip Quinn - plus £100 each to the two other cyclists.

Gibson was also told to pay £295 court costs.

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