Saido Berahino was escaping 'knife gang who had mugged him when he drove Range Rover while three-times over limit'

Saido Berahino was escaping 'knife gang who had mugged him when he drove Range Rover while three-times over limit'

May 15, 2019

STOKE City star Saido Berahino was escaping from knife-wielding muggers when he drove his Range Rover while three times over the limit, a court has heard.

The former England under-21 striker claims he had been robbed minutes before he was arrested in Bloomsbury, central London.

He was found by cops at the side of the road near VQ restaurant at around 3am on February 18, Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court was told.

The footballer denied drink-driving in February, with his barrister saying the issue was whether he had to drive to escape armed thugs who robbed him "minutes before."

The 25-year-old's defence, Garry Green, said: "The officer in the case details what he says occurs from three different cameras.

"They show this defendant being chased, falling to the ground and being attacked while on the ground.

"An officer said previously he could see knives on the CCTV.

"I have not had an opportunity to see if I can see that and whether we would want to have that footage enhanced.

"It clearly goes to the issue of his state of mind and whether he thought he should drive."

'ATTACKED BY ROBBERS'

He touched on the CCTV of the defendant being provided this morning, and asked for more time to watch the footage with the footballer.

Mr Green said: "May I respectfully say it's a most unsatisfactory state of affairs.

"The issue in this case is whether or not this defendant had to drive his car as a necessity.

"The background of the necessity being – and it's accepted by the prosecution – that he was robbed some minutes before his vehicle was drive.

"There is no dispute he was robbed and that robbery is caught on CCTV."

Berahino was breathalysed at the scene and the reading showed that he had 103 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

The drink-drive limit is 35 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath.

Berahino, who was born in Burundi but received political asylum in Birmingham while still a child, was temporarily suspended by Stoke after the arrest.

His contract with the Championship club runs until 2022.

Berahino, of Cannock, Staffs, denies one count of drink-driving.

The trial is expected to start later today.


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