Swann 'was drinking for hours'

England cricketer Graeme Swann had been drinking for nearly five hours before he was pulled over by police for drink-driving, a court heard yesterday.

The off-spinner was stopped in West Bridgford, Nottingham, on April 2.

Lisa Hodgkinson, the nurse who took Swann's blood sample for testing, told Nottingham Magistrates' Court: "Mr Swann stated he drank approximately five glasses of white wine which were home measures." He started drinking at about 8pm and finished about 12.30 or one in the morning.

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At a hearing in August, the court heard how the 31-year-old told police when he was pulled over that he had gone out to buy screwdrivers to rescue his cat, stuck under the floorboards after builders had been working on their home.

The court yesterday heard evidence from Sylvain Denaeul, the forensic toxicologist who analysed Swann's blood sample.

Under questioning from prosecutor Tara Kelly he said he carried out tests on the second blood sample because the first one had been discarded by Ms Hodgkinson.

Phillip Lucas, defending, said he would put in a submission of no case to answer because Swann's first blood sample was discarded and the second analysed.

The case was adjourned to December 7. Swann was excused from attending on that date because he will be with the England team contesting the Ashes series in Australia.