A FRIEND of ex-England football star Paul Gascoigne was warned today he faced a possible jail sentence after he was found guilty of drink-driving in North Yorkshire.
Michael Harvey, 41, denied he was behind the wheel of a Ford Transit van which pulled up outside a takeaway while he was more than two times over the legal limit.
Harvey and Gascoigne, 43, were fly-fishing earlier that day and had arrived in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, looking for accommodation.
After drinking and playing pool in several pubs Harvey and Gascoigne walked to a nearby takeaway for a pizza.
Harvey, who has a previous conviction for drink-driving, went to get his vehicle and drove the van a short distance from a car park to the Regency takeaway to pick up the former Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United player who had ordered the fast food, Northallerton Magistrates’ Court was told.
Harvey told magistrates he accepted an offer by an unidentified man to drive the van for him. He said he wanted the vehicle parked where he could see it for an early getaway the next morning.
However, the “mystery” man was dismissed as a fabrication and his account described as an “absolute pack of lies.”
He told the court he went back to Leeming Bar in an attempt to find the lad who drove the vehicle for him.
Magistrate Anna Ramsden said Harvey had failed to “give credible evidence” and he was found guilty of drink- driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
The case was adjourned for the completion of a pre-sentence report and Harvey, who was given bail, was told to return to court on March 14 for sentencing.
Mrs Ramsden said all sentencing options were open “up to and including custody.”
Earlier, the court was shown CCTV footage showing Gascoigne ordering a pizza before he is joined by Harvey.
Harvey is seen leaving the takeaway and moments later a vehicle is seen to pull up outside.
It was alleged Harvey had pulled up in the van to pick up Gascoigne and the pizzas they had just ordered.
The pair leave the takeaway and the footage shows Gascoigne getting into the front passenger seat.
The court was told Harvey went to the driver’s door and opened it, just as a marked police van arrives at the scene.
It was alleged Harvey made an offensive gesture towards the off-duty policeman who was driving the van and swore at him.
Both men denied driving the vehicle and told police the driver had “run off”.
Both were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.
Gascoigne was facing a drink-drive charge over the incident but the case against him was dropped last week.
Harvey denied driving a Ford Transit van while over the limit. He had 259 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of urine.
Harvey, of Wood Street, Gateshead, pleaded guilty last year to being in charge of a motor vehicle while over the limit.