Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie admits drink driving at ‘idiotic speeds’ in Audi R8

Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie has been fined £28,500 for drink driving after he was breathalysed after being stopped for driving at an ‘idiotic’ speed.
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The Premier League footballer was pulled over by the police as he drove his high-powered Audi near his home in Garforth, Leeds, on October 19 last year.

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Footballer Oliver McBurnie leaves Leeds Magistrates Court. July 10 2020Footballer Oliver McBurnie leaves Leeds Magistrates Court. July 10 2020
Footballer Oliver McBurnie leaves Leeds Magistrates Court. July 10 2020

The 24-year-old, who has also been capped for Scotland, appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court today where he was admitted drink driving and was banned from the roads for 12 months.

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When police stopped the £20 million footballer, he was found to have 53mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 35mg.

The £20,000-a-week footballer was stopped in his black Audi R8 after an officer saw him visit a garage and speed away.

Philip Morris, prosecuting, said: “He drove off at considerable speed to the consternation of the officer who was heard to describe his speed as 'idiotic' during the course of the exchange at the roadside.”

McBurnie was stopped in a 20mph zone in a residential area, the court heard.

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After a delay in bringing a prosecution witness to court, the footballer changed his plea to guilty on the eve of a trial.

He had previously denied the charge, saying his alcohol consumption did not tally with the reading on the breathalyser.

John Dye, defending, said: “He finds himself in this position ultimately trying to be helpful, and rather stupid in the circumstances.

“He was not thinking straight and he apologises for that and is genuinely sorry for the trouble he had caused.

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“He is genuinely embarrassed to be here, he knows he is a role model to many people.”

His barrister said McBurnie, like other Premier League footballers, had supported NHS charities with donations during the pandemic.

“This is a young man who does give something back,” he said.

Mr Dye said his client faces the prospect of being fined by his club on top of the court's punishment.

District Judge Michael Fanning said he reduced the fine from 150 per cent of his weekly wage by five per cent for his guilty plea, down from £30,000 to £28,500.