Drink-drive Canary star banned from road

NORWICH City footballer Matty Pattison was arrested for drink-driving when he turned up for a training session twice the legal drink drive limit - just four hours after leaving a late night drinking session at city nightclub.

NORWICH City footballer Matty Pattison was arrested for drink-driving when he turned up for a training session twice the legal drink drive limit - just four hours after leaving a late night drinking session at city nightclub.

Pattison, 21, who joined the Canaries from Newcastle United, was breath tested at the club's Colney training ground after a member of staff on the reception at Dunston Hall, where the player was staying, tipped off police as they were concerned about him getting behind the wheel.

South African born Pattison who signed for City in a three-and-a-half year deal that could cost the club £500,000, had been out clubbing after getting back from the city from Sheffield where the Canaries lost 2-0 to Sheffield United.

He returned from his night out at Mercy at 4.30am before setting off just four hours later to attend the club's training session, a court heard today.

Mark Davis, prosecuting at Norwich Magistrates Court, said that after police were contacted about the matter Pc Mark Cushing attended the Colney training ground and found the player's Cherokee Jeep in the car park.

“He also formed the view Pattison had been drinking. His eyes were glazed and he smelt of alcohol.”

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City midfielder Pattison was arrested after he gave a reading of 74 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Mr Davis said Pattison admitted in interview that he "still felt drunk' when he woke up but had decided to drive his Jeep Cherokee seven miles to the training ground.

Mr Davis said police were called by Ben Lee, who works at Dunston Hall hotel, near Norwich, where Pattison has been staying since joining the struggling Championship side from Newcastle United late last year.

Mr Lee told police he had spoken to Pattison, whose "speech was slurred' and breath smelt "intoxicated', before he drove away, the court heard.

Simon Nicholls, for Pattison, said that he did not accept the level of intoxication described by witnesses but very much regretted his actions.

“He is under no illusions. The manager is not very happy about it either but people have been supportive.”

He said there had been “idle speculation” about the case in the national press which did not have any substance and said the offence had been at lower end of the scale.

He said that Pattison had fallen foul of the fact that alcohol remained in the system for some hours.

Magistrates' chairman John Rockliff fined Pattison £2,300 and disqualified him from driving for 20 months. Pattison was also ordered to pay £60 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Pattison has said he wants to take part in the Drinkwise course, which is a rehabilitation course for drink drivers, and if he completes this by the end of April he will have his driving ban cut by five months.

Mr Rockcliff said that they had decided to treat Pattison the same as any other drink driver in court for such an offence and not make an example of him because he is a footballer in the public eye.

After the case, Pattison, in a statement, said: "I sincerely regret the actions which have led to me coming to court today.

"I fully accept the sentence handed to me by the magistrates and I am determined to learn from my mistake.

"I would like to say sorry to the magistrates and the police for taking up their time.'

A spokesman for Norwich City, added: "Matty genuinely and sincerely regrets his behaviour and the club will support his determination to learn from this serious breach of his position of responsibility as a Norwich City player.'

“The club is committed to working with police and other relevant local authorities and welfare groups to promote responsible citizenship - and this includes a very firm stance against drink-driving and other forms of irresponsible or anti-social behaviour.

“We will continue to drive this message home during the programme of development in place to educate young players in our Academy and to support local initiatives aimed at driving home these messages to the wider community.”

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