Footballer admits drink driving

RISING football star Tesfaye Bramble hid from police officers in a front garden after crashing his mother's car into a wall, a court heard.But the fleeing Southend United striker, who does not even have a driving licence, was sniffed out by police dogs and later found to have been drink-driving.

By Jonathan Barnes

RISING football star TesfayeBramble hid from police officers in a front garden after crashing his mother's car into a wall, a court heard.

But the fleeing Southend United striker, who does not even have a driving licence, was sniffed out by police dogs and later found to have been drink-driving.

Bramble appeared before magistrates in Ipswich yesterdayand admitted driving with excess alcohol, failing to stop after an accident, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.


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The 22-year-old, of Beatty Road, Ipswich, was ordered to pay £755 in fines and prosecution costs and was banned from driving for 12 months.

LeslaSmall, prosecuting, said police officers saw Bramble running away from a VW Golf car after crashing it into a garden wall in Benacre Road, Ipswich, on January 10.

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The court heard they spotted the red, V-reg car travelling “at speed” on Hatfield Road and followed it along Clapgate Lane through to Benacre Road.

Bramble fled after the accident and the police used trained dogs to find the footballer, who was hiding in a nearby garden.

He failed a roadside breath test and was found to have 85 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

Miss Small added Bramble only had a provisional licence but he was not with a supervised driver and there were no L-plates on the car, which belonged to his mother.

Charles Riddleston, mitigating, said Bramble admitted he had been “silly” and “was not proud of his actions”.

He said the star had been celebrating a friend's birthday that night and was “just over” the legal drink-drive limit.

The “minor” accident, Mr Riddleston said, was due to icy conditions and Bramble had paid the owner of the house for the damage caused.

He added Bramble, who had no previous convictions, had run away from the car because he knew he did not have a full license.

“It was not a sophisticated attempt to evade detection. He didn't get very far - he was never going to get very far,” said Mr Riddleston.

Chairman of the bench, Anne Walker, fined Bramble £300 for driving with excess alcohol, £200 for failing to stop after an accident and £200 for driving without insurance. There was no separate penalty for driving without a licence.

He was banned from driving for 12 months, but Bramble was told that if he completed a drink-driving rehabilitation course within seven months the sentence would be cut by three months.

He was ordered to pay £55 costs and he put the total £755 payment on his credit card.

Bramble is leading goalscorer with Division Three side Southend United this season with 11 goals. He joined the club from non-league Cambridge City in January 2001 and topped scoring charts last season with 13 goals.

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