Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish arrives in court to face driving disqualification after Range Rover lockdown crash
ASTON Villa captain Jack Grealish has arrived in court to face a possible driving disqualification after crashing his £80,000 Range Rover during the March lockdown.
The 25-year-old previously pleaded guilty to two charges at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, including one linked to the incident when his 4×4 hit two parked vehicles in Dickens Heath, Solihull, West Midlands.
A judge was told that a witness said Grealish smelled of "intoxicating liquor" and was slurring his words, immediately after the crash on March 29.
The Premier League ace, of Barnt Green, Worcestershire, was involved in the incident just 24 hours after issuing a Twitter video urging fans to stay at home to protect the NHS.
Grealish apologised hours after the crash, saying in a video message that he was "deeply embarrassed" and had "stupidly agreed" to go to a friend's house.
He also pleaded guilty to a separate offence of careless driving after prosecutors said he was spotted driving at more than 90mph along the M42 at "close to an intimidating distance" by an unmarked police car, on October 18.
'SPEECH WAS SLURRED'
Birmingham Magistrates' Court heard last month that the first smash unfolded in a residential cul-de-sac, with Grealish's high-powered 4×4 Range Rover hitting a Citroen van and a £30,000 Mercedes.
The court was told a security guard patrolling the area saw Grealish walking along the road in light coloured slippers before the footballer got into his car – "reversing at speed" and colliding with the Citroen.
He then drove away and mounted a kerb, before reversing again "swerving left and right" as he "side-swiped" a grey Mercedes.
The witness said Grealish "narrowly missed" the guard, who was parked on the side of the road at the time.
When the witness got out of his car to confront Grealish, the court heard he smelt alcohol on his breath.
Prosecutor Tinofara Nyatanga told the court: "When (the security guard) spoke with the defendant, he said he could smell intoxicating liquor on his breath, his speech was slurred, and he was unsteady on his feet.
"He reported the incident to his colleague in a CCTV operating room at the time.”
The Premier League star did not attend Birmingham Magistrates' Court on November 24, with the hearing told he was training.
Police were called to the scene and went to the home where Grealish was believed to have been earlier but he wasn't there.
After checking the insurance for the Range Rover, cops then went to Grealish's property but he wasn't home.
The ace pleaded not guilty to failing to stop following an accident and failing to report an accident over the March crash – with the charges then dismissed by the judge.
Grealish also admitted a second charge of careless driving in October, when his Range Rover was clocked by an unmarked police patrol doing up to 98mph.
He was trailed by police in an unmarked car as he drove “close to an intimidating distance behind other road users" on the M42 "to get them to move out of the way”.
Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was told that the star caused “danger to everyone involved” as he drove to Villa’s Bodymoor Heath Road training complex.
He then left the motorway on the A446 where he continued driving carelessly and cut up another car. Grealish was pulled over at the entrance of the training ground after being watched by police for 10 minutes.
He was “calm, compliant and apologised for the manner of his driving”, district judge John Bristow said.
During the hearing last month, District Judge Bristow requested the footballer to appear in court for sentencing.
Grealish's lawyer Barry Warburton tried to reach him but said his phone was in his locker during training with the matter then adjourned for sentencing today.
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