Suspended jail term for drink-drive footballer

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Premier League footballer Jermaine Pennant has been given an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for a year, and disqualified from driving for three years after he admitted drink-driving.

The Stoke City player, who spent the 2003-04 season on loan at Leeds United, was more than twice the limit when he got behind the wheel of his BMW to drive back from Manchester in the early hours of April 29, Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 29-year-old was “depressed and stressed” after months of turmoil in his private life and suffering taunts about his former partner while in a nightclub, it was claimed.

Pennant, who admitted his third drink-drive conviction in eight years, had been dumped by text message by his girlfriend on the night of the offence and another ex and the mother of his 20-month-old child had not turned up to see him play earlier in the day.

He was driving home because hotels were full and was involved in a minor road accident. He was arrested at the scene, breathtested and gave a reading of 89mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Pennant, of Pool Lane, Sandbach, Cheshire, had already been banned from driving earlier that month by magistrates in Cannock, Staffordshire, for totting up too many points on his licence.

He admitted drink-driving, driving while disqualified, and driving without insurance. He must pay £80 costs and was given a 12-month supervision order.