Darron Gibson avoids jail as he is handed 40-month road ban following drink driving incident
Ex-Republic of Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson has been handed a two-year community order and banned from driving for 40 months at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court after he admitted drink driving.
District Judge Roger Elsey did not jail him after hearing the former Sunderland player was going through a number of psychological issues at the time, for which he is now receiving treatment.
The 30-year-old was three times over the limit when he smashed his Mercedes 4x4 into parked cars on St Patrick's Day, South Tyneside Magistrates' Court was told last month.
The incident in Sunderland followed a serious collision in 2015 when his car hit three cyclists who were fixing a wheel on the pavement.
Gibson, who played for Manchester United, Everton and Sunderland, knocked a taxi's wing mirror off in West Boldon in the latest incident, but carried on and smashed into parked cars in Dovedale Road, Fulwell, Sunderland, as he drove to the club's training ground.
His grey 4x4 ended up on the pavement and the road was strewn with debris.
When Gibson admitted the offence last month, the Chairman of the Bench David Randall said: "Mr Gibson, this is the second offence in less than three years."
Aggravating factors included the damage caused to the parked vehicles.
His lawyer Henry Blackshaw said he had taken sleeping tablets and drank from a litre bottle of vodka the night before the crash.
Mr Blackshaw said Gibson denied being an alcoholic but said he was a binge drinker who was taking steps to overcome the problem.
Losing his Sunderland contract had cost Gibson hundreds of thousands of pounds in lost bonuses, the court heard.