A Premier League football ace has pleaded guilty to drink driving while speeding in his black Audi A8 and has been slapped with a fine of almost £30,000.
Oliver McBurnie, a £20million striker at Sheffield United, was one-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit when he was stopped by police in the early hours of October 18, last year.
The 24-year-old Scottish international was breathalysed at the scene in Garforth, West Yorks., and recorded a reading of 53 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.
The legal limit is 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath.
McBurnie will have to pay a £29,301 fine – which is less than two weeks’ of his £20,000 per week wage.
The court heard how officers spotted McBurnie driving recklessly at 1.16am on October 18 last year near Selby, North Yorks.
He was subsequently stopped near his home in Garforth near Leeds, West Yorks., and brought to the police station where he provided two breath samples at 2.39am.
Leeds Magistrates Court today heard on Friday he had been driving “like an idiot”.
Prosecutor Phillip Morris told the court officers at the scene labelled McBurnie’s driving as “idiotic”.
Mr Morris said: “Essentially, officers noted that he drove off at speed.
“In fact he drove off at such a considerable speed that the officer said it was idiotic during the exchange by the roadside with the defendant.
“He was on a 20 mile limit road and the speed he was doing was grossly in excess of that.”
McBurnie had initially pleaded not guilty in November last year but changed his plea at the last minute in court.
Wearing a white shirt and a black tie, the £20,000-a-week striker only spoke to confirm his guilty plea.
Sentencing McBurnie, District Judge Michael Fannings told him he had chosen to put “himself and others at risk” after recklessly getting into his black Audi A8 while drunk.
Judge Fannings said: “You are a young man, presumably of good character.
“You pleaded guilty at the very last possibility.
“I have to say that drink drivers are disproportionately responsible for causing death to innocent people.
“You chose to put other people as well as yourself and your passenger at risk.”
McBurnie was fined £29,301 and given a 16-month driving ban which could be lowered to 12 months if he completes a rehabilitation course by May 2021.
Defence barrister John Dye told the court it was “stupidity” that landed McBurnie in court but that was a mistake he was “genuinely sorry” for.
He said: “He was with a female friend who asked for cigarettes. He didn’t think and got in the car.
“It’s real stupidity that put him in this place but he is genuinely sorry.
“He is genuinely embarrassed to be here today with his father, and knowing so many look up to him.
“But he won’t find himself in this position again.
“He shouldn’t have done it, he gets that, but his offense isn’t as bad as it seems to those outside.”
Mr Dye added McBurnie was an important member of the community who gave back to charities including the NHS and in Scotland.
He said: “Footballers are often criticised for not doing charity during the pandemic.
“He has supported various charities.
“He is a young man that gives back and he’s a good character.”
McBurnie began his career with Bradford City and moved to Sheffield United from Swansea in August. The player has won nine international caps for Scotland.