Drink-driver Gazza avoids jail term

Drink-driver Gazza avoids jail term


Paul Gascoigne arrives at Newcastle Magistrates' Court

Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has avoided an immediate jail term for driving while more than four times the legal alcohol limit.

The troubled 43-year-old ex-midfielder was given an eight-week sentence, suspended for a year, when he appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Following the hearing, his lawyer Stephen Andrews said Gazza was relieved and that it was a “good result”.

Gascoigne was arrested in the city after police spotted him driving an MG erratically. He was found to have 142mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35mg – when he was tested in the early hours of October 8.

He admitted drink-driving at a hearing in October. On that occasion, District Judge Stephen Earl told him that 12 weeks in jail was a possibility given the circumstances.

Gascoigne was due to be sentenced last month but failed to appear as he had checked himself into a rehab clinic on the south coast.

On Thursday, Judge Earl said the seriousness of the offence crossed the custody threshold, but he passed a suspended sentence after hearing Gascoigne was responding well to treatment at the Providence Project clinic.

“You are not heavily convicted and you have nothing currently on your record of a similar nature,” he said.

But the sentence does not signal the end of Gascoigne’s troubles.

A separate drink-drive charge, which he denies, will be heard next week at Northallerton Magistrates’ Court.



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