Drink with fans leads to ban

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk&world Update - By ADAM UREN adam.uren@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @ETADAMU

POSH skip­per Grant McCann has been banned from driv­ing af­ter get­ting be­hind the wheel af­ter hav­ing drinks with fans and an off­duty po­lice of­fi­cer in a city pub.

The mid­fielder reg­is­tered 66 mi­cro­grammes of al­co­hol per 100 millil­itres of breath - the le­gal limit be­ing 35 - af­ter he was stopped by po­lice in his Mercedes C250 on the A15 at Deep­ing Gate at 3am on Wed­nes­day, April 25.

He was banned from driv­ing for 18 months at Peter­bor­ough Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day and fined £2,000 af­ter plead­ing guilty to drink driv­ing, with his de­fence solic­i­tor An­drew Cave stat­ing the North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tional was full of re­morse for his ac­tions.

Mr Cave said Mccann (32), of Che­sham Drive, Bas­ton, ad­mit­ted he had made a “huge mis­take” in ac­cept­ing drinks bought for him by fans as he watched the Barcelona v Chelsea Cham­pi­ons League semi-final with an­other, un­named, Posh player.

And as a “fig­ure­head” for Peter­bor­ough United, Mr Cave said McCann’s ac­tions at­tract at­ten­tion in the public arena.

He said: “Al­ready on Twit­ter (that night) there was a cer­tain en­try by a po­lice of­fi­cer say­ing they were hav­ing a drink in the pub with Grant Mccann.

“As soon as the in­for­ma­tion is passed that he is go­ing out to his car and thought to be drink driv­ing, it at­tracts at­ten­tion in the public arena.

“He had ac­tu­ally been at the Peter­bor­ough United ground that evening (April 24) as there was a youth pre­sen­ta­tion he at­tended as cap­tain of the first team sup­port­ing younger play­ers.

“Af­ter­wards he went with one of his fel­low play­ers to the pub where they watched the end of the foot­ball on telly.

“Know­ing he had gone out but would drive back, he only had two pints so knew he should be okay to drive.

“We should ac­knowl­edge that peo­ple and sup­port­ers in Peter­bor­ough recog­nise him and peo­ple come up to him of­fer­ing to buy him drinks.

“In gen­eral he re­fuses but on this oc­ca­sion he re­alises his big­gest mis­take was hav­ing a cou­ple of ex­tra drinks he should not have had.

“He had a cou­ple of cokes as his last drinks and thought he was okay to drive.”

Although an off-duty po­lice of­fi­cer was drink­ing with Mccann just hours be­fore he was ar­rested, Cam­bridgeshire po­lice said it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the driver not to get be­hind the wheel while in­tox­i­cated.

Ca­su­alty re­duc­tion of­fi­cer PC Steve Gedny said: “There is no ex­cuse to get be­hind the wheel while over the drink-drive limit, re­gard­less of who you are.

“Drink-driv­ing puts the mo­torist and other road users at risk and we will stop and breathal­yse any­one sus­pected of be­ing over the limit.

“We would en­cour­age peo­ple to call po­lice if they sus­pect some­one is go­ing to drink-drive and we will act on any in­for­ma­tion we re­ceive.”

Mccann is one of sev­eral play­ers at Posh who have been made avail­able for trans­fer this sum­mer. He ap­peared at court yes­ter­day but spoke only to con­firm his de­tails while his solic­i­tor de­tailed his de­fence.

He led the team to pro­mo­tion from League One to the Cham­pi­onship in 2010/11, scor­ing a free-kick in the Play-off Final against Hud­der­s­field Town at Old Traf­ford.

He has also been capped 37 times for North­ern Ire­land and had stints be­fore Posh at West Ham United, Chel­tenham Town, Barns­ley and Scun­thorpe United.

Mr Cave said that the driv­ing ban will have an im­pact upon his wife and two chil­dren, who he said are set­tled in the area.

He said that if he does get trans­ferred from the club this sum­mer, Mccann would have to ei­ther stay away from home for much of his time, or look to use public trans­port to get to and from his new club.

A ref­er­ence from the club and man­ager Dar­ren Fer­gu­son was sub­mit­ted to the court, with Mr Cave adding that Mccann has not looked for a way out of his crime.

He said: “He is ex­tremely re­morse­ful for what he has done. He has not looked for any loop­holes and he has al­ready ap­peared in the ET af­ter apol­o­gis­ing to the foot­ball club, his man­ager, team mates and sup­port­ers.

“He im­me­di­ately ac­cepted re­spon­si­bil­ity and that his ac­tions were un­ac­cept­able, par­tic­u­larly for a per­son in his po­si­tion as the fig­ure­head of his club.

“He spends a lot of time with the youth play­ers, look­ing af­ter them us­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence as an in­ter­na­tional cap­tain and en­sur­ing they are not go­ing off the rails.”

Dis­trict Judge Ken Sher­a­ton, along with the 18 month ban and the £2,000 fine, or­dered Mccann to pay £85 in costs and a £15 vic­tim sur­charge. The ban can be cut to 14 months upon com­ple­tion of a drink driv­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion course.

driv­ing ban: Grant Mccann.

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