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Saido Berahino: Stoke City striker guilty of drinking and driving Saido Berahino: Stoke City striker guilty of drinking and driving
(about 2 hours later)
Footballer Saido Berahino has been found guilty of drinking and driving.Footballer Saido Berahino has been found guilty of drinking and driving.
The Stoke City striker was almost three times the alcohol limit when his Range Rover was stopped in London's West End at about 03:00 GMT on 18 February.The Stoke City striker was almost three times the alcohol limit when his Range Rover was stopped in London's West End at about 03:00 GMT on 18 February.
Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court heard the 25-year-old was arrested minutes after being robbed.Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court heard the 25-year-old was arrested minutes after being robbed.
Magistrates found he "was not in fear of death or fear of serious injury" before fining him £75,000 and banning him from driving for 30 months.Magistrates found he "was not in fear of death or fear of serious injury" before fining him £75,000 and banning him from driving for 30 months.
The court heard there was "no dispute" over the robbery, which was caught on CCTV, but defence lawyer Garry Green argued the crux of the case was "whether or not this defendant had to drive his car as a necessity".The court heard there was "no dispute" over the robbery, which was caught on CCTV, but defence lawyer Garry Green argued the crux of the case was "whether or not this defendant had to drive his car as a necessity".
Previous convictionsPrevious convictions
Chair of the bench Mark Oxenham said Berahino's girlfriend had driven the car immediately beforehand and "could have continued the journey away from the scene".Chair of the bench Mark Oxenham said Berahino's girlfriend had driven the car immediately beforehand and "could have continued the journey away from the scene".
The court was told the Burundi international had previous convictions for drinking and driving in 2015 and being drunk in charge of a vehicle in 2012.The court was told the Burundi international had previous convictions for drinking and driving in 2015 and being drunk in charge of a vehicle in 2012.
Latest news from the West MidlandsLatest news from the West Midlands
On the night of his arrest, police were called to reports of a possible stabbing involving seven people outside the VQ Cafe, in Great Russell Street.On the night of his arrest, police were called to reports of a possible stabbing involving seven people outside the VQ Cafe, in Great Russell Street.
Berahino, of Old Penkridge Road, Staffordshire was behind the wheel of the Range Rover when police stopped it in Bedford Square.Berahino, of Old Penkridge Road, Staffordshire was behind the wheel of the Range Rover when police stopped it in Bedford Square.
He was asked about the fight but said he had not seen anything, prosecutor Katie Weiss said.He was asked about the fight but said he had not seen anything, prosecutor Katie Weiss said.
PC Stephen Luu said the driver appeared "nervous" and he could "smell alcohol on his breath".PC Stephen Luu said the driver appeared "nervous" and he could "smell alcohol on his breath".
Berahino was found to have 103mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the court heard. The legal limit is 35mg.Berahino was found to have 103mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the court heard. The legal limit is 35mg.
He told police he was robbed, while his girlfriend said she believed her ex-boyfriend had arranged for Berahino to be attacked, the court heard.He told police he was robbed, while his girlfriend said she believed her ex-boyfriend had arranged for Berahino to be attacked, the court heard.
His watch and two diamond necklaces were stolen.His watch and two diamond necklaces were stolen.
'Jeopardise career''Jeopardise career'
Burundi-born Berahino, who joined Stoke from West Brom for an initial £12m fee in January 2017, is due to appear in the African Cup of Nations this summer but told the court he has not played since the incident. The court heard Berahino currently has no income, as he has been suspended by Stoke without pay, and has outgoings of £20,000 a month.
The Burundi-born player, who joined Stoke from West Brom for an initial £12m fee in January 2017, is due to appear in the African Cup of Nations this summer.
"I was scared. I had just been attacked and obviously my niece was there and I had to take action. I had to drive off from the scene," he said."I was scared. I had just been attacked and obviously my niece was there and I had to take action. I had to drive off from the scene," he said.
"They had a knife and a gun as well.""They had a knife and a gun as well."
He said he did not immediately tell police about the robbery after they were called.He said he did not immediately tell police about the robbery after they were called.
"In the past I have been in the media and I didn't want anything to get out," he said."In the past I have been in the media and I didn't want anything to get out," he said.
"It would jeopardise my career and I was scared of that."It would jeopardise my career and I was scared of that.
"That was the last thing I wanted.""That was the last thing I wanted."
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