Driving ban but no jail for footballer following drink-drive accident

By Gary Adair

Darren Gibson, a Premier League footballer originally from Northern Ireland, has escaped a prison sentence in respect of a drink-drive collision with cyclists and other motoring offences.

Mr Gibson, aged 27, mounted the pavement in his vehicle and struck three cyclists who were repairing a bicycle. He did not remain at the scene of the accident, and drove on to a petrol station were he crashed into a petrol pump and then got out to fill his vehicle without any shoes on. A garage attendant called the police and Mr Gibson was found to be over the legal drink-drive limit following a test at the police station. Two of the cyclists suffered injuries ranging from cuts, bruising and hip and back pain. A carbon composite bicycle was damaged and Mr Gibson was ordered to pay £4,500 in damages to cover the cost of the repair.

The Northern Ireland man was also ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to one of the cyclists and £100 to each of the other 2 men. He was also ordered to pay court costs totalling £295. He did however escape a prison sentence and was instead ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and was given a driving ban for 20 months.

Mr Gibson told the court he had been out celebrating a colleague's birthday the night before and had drunk "copious amounts of alcohol". He arrived home but left in his car following an argument with his wife. The court decided not to impose a jail sentence on account of his clear remorse and the fact that his behaviour was deemed to be out of character.

If you require legal advice in respect of a road traffic accident in Northern Ireland contact one of the compensation claims solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9289.

To speak to a solicitor specialising in motoring offences call 0800 840 0546.