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Sheffield United player admits drink driving at ‘idiotic speeds’

A Sheffield United player admits to drink driving at what has been described as ‘idiotic speeds’ by the magistrates court on Thursday.

The 24 year old Premier League star was fined £30,000 was due to go on trial but changed his plea at the last minute.

It was back in October of 2019 that he ended up being arrested in after police officers spotted him driving at a manic speed in a 20mph zone.

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Prosecutor Philip Morris told the court: “He came to the attention of the police at 1.16am on October 18.

“He was first spotted in the Shell garage getting into the driver’s side of a black Audi R8.

“Officers noted that he drove off at speed. In fact, he drove off at considerable speed.

“There was a 20mph limit and he was grossly in excess of that.”

Police pulled Ollie McBurnie over and placed him in the back of a squad car and noted that he was “chatty”.

Morris added: “He smelt of intoxicants and provided a positive roadside specimen.”

The forward, who earns £20,000-a-week, said he had stopped at the garage in Leeds to buy a female friend some cigarettes.

He was taken to a nearby police station where he was found to have 53mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

McBurnie initially claimed he had only had one drink and denied the charge – insisting that it was the faulty police machine.

But, with Dad by his side at Leeds Magistrates Court yesterday, he suddenly pleaded guilty.

John Dye, mitigating, said: “He had been drinking earlier and was with a female friend who asked for some cigarettes.

“He didn’t even think about it at the time. He got in the vehicle and drove.

“It’s real stupiditty on his behalf, not thinking straight and he apologises for that.

“He’s genuinely embarrassed for being here. He knows he’s a role model to many people.

“He’s learnt a very valuable lesson.”

Dye said that his club – who signed him for a record £20million – would “probably” fine him.

Judge Michael Fanning told McBurnie: “You chose to put others, including your passenger, at risk.”

He fined the Scotland international a total of £28,500, which is the equivalent of 150% of his weekly wage under new means-tested guidelines.

He has also been made to pay £620 prosecution costs, along with a £181 victim surcharge, which brings the total to exactly £29,301.

McBurnie declined to comment as he departed from court.

Sky Sports pundits were critical of the player for his performance against Burnley five days ago.

Graeme Souness and Emile Heskey slammed him for causing an error in the lead up to the Clarets’ opener.

As half-time approached in the Premier League fixture, James Tarkowski got into space from a free-kick to poke Sean Dyche’ side into the lead.

It could have been avoided however, with McBurnie losing track of his man as the defender managed to get in front before turning the ball home.

Speaking during half-time of Sky Sports’ coverage, Souness and Heskey both felt the Blades’ striker should have done much better to prevent the hosts from going ahead.

“It’s a centre-forward being asked to do a defender’s job,” Souness said. “He starts off in the right area, then Tarkowski just ends up inside him which is a no-no.

“You’ve got to be strong, he manhandles him a bit but he should have had his body opened up so he’s aware of where he is, instead he’s turned his back on him.

“It’s a centre-forward doing a defender’s job not very well. You have to say the centre-half finishes with some aplomb, and he’s just onside, but that just doesn’t happen if you’re doing your job half-right.”

Emile Heskey added: “If I’m in that situation, I’ve got to see the ball, I’ve got to see the man, and I would want to see him at every single stage.

“If he’s running from the edge of the box, I’ll follow him.

“I didn’t like zonal because I wanted to be up against someone, and he’s up against him but he’s allowed him to come in front of him, which is a no-no when you’re defending.”

Fans gave their shocked reaction over on Twitter after finding out that the Sheffield United player admits drink driving at ‘idiotic speeds’…

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