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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 February, 2005, 13:07 GMT
Arsenal star admits drink-driving
Jermaine Pennant
Jermaine Pennant is on loan to Birmingham City
Arsenal midfielder Jermaine Pennant has admitted drink-driving after crashing his Mercedes Benz into a lamppost.

The 22-year-old also admitted to driving while disqualified and driving while uninsured when he appeared before Aylesbury magistrates on Tuesday.

The player, on loan to Birmingham City, was arrested after the crash in Aylesbury, Bucks, on 23 January.

The court heard Pennant, of Barnet, north London, could face a prison term when he is sentenced on 1 March.

Slurred speech

Chairman of the magistrates John Jakobi gave Pennant an interim ban while he awaits pre-sentence reports.

Prosecutor Rachel Sheppard told the court Pennant was stopped in a leisure centre at about 0600 GMT by a police officer.

She said his eyes were glazed, his speech slurred and he initially gave a false name.

Pennant told police he was driving from Bristol to London and his car's navigation system had directed him through Aylesbury.

He was adjusting the system when he lost control of the car, he told the officer.

Wrong lane

The court heard his alcohol reading had been 85mg per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.

Pennant was banned from driving for 16 months last February after he was seen travelling in the wrong lane in Paddington, west London.

The ban was due to be lifted on 19 February after it was cut because the player completed a special course.

The crash happened hours before his team Arsenal were due to play Newcastle United.

On 30 November 1999, Pennant made his Arsenal debut against Middlesbrough in a Worthington Cup tie.

Arsenal bought Pennant for 2m from Notts County in 1999, one of the highest amounts paid for a teenager at the time.

He spent 2003/4 with Leeds United and it was announced on Monday he would spend the rest of the season on loan to Birmingham City.

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31 Jan 05 |  Lancashire


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