Premier League star pleads guilty to careless driving after crashing Sh11million Range Rover
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish reacts to referee Michael Oliver [REUTERS/Rui Vieira]

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish pleaded guilty to two charges of careless driving, including one offence in connection with a crash during March’s Coronavirus lockdown.

England international Grealish admitted one offence in connection with a three-vehicle collision involving his £80,000 Range Rover in Dickens Heath, near Solihull, on March 29, six days after national restrictions were imposed nationwide.

Grealish also admitted a second charge of careless driving relating to allegations he drove without due care and attention on the M42, in October.

However, the England international also denied two other charges connected to the Dickens Heath incident of failing to stop and failing to report the incident, which occurred a matter of days into the first national Covid-19 lockdown.

With regards those charges, the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence and the charges were dismissed.

He will discover whether he is to be banned from driving on December 15.

Premier League star pleads guilty to careless driving after crashing Sh11million Range Rover
A previously unseen picture of the damage to a Range Rover Grealish was alleged to have hit (Image: PA)

Grealish was not present when his case was called just after noon at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, with the hearing proceeding in his absence and his plea being entered through his lawyer.

Grealish had been charged with careless driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident.

District Judge John Bristow dismissed the latter two counts.

Prosecutors claimed that the Aston Villa captain had crashed his Range Rover into a parked car before leaving the scene in Dickens Heath.

Prosecutor Tinofara Nyatanga told the court a security guard for the area who witnessed the events was parked on the side of the road at the time waiting for a space to become available.

“He witnessed a male walk past him. He observed the defendant, he was wearing a light blue jumper, his hood pulled over his head, light coloured shorts and different coloured slippers on his feet,” said Ms Nyatanga.

“He observed the defendant get into his vehicle and reverse at speed and collide with the Citroen van, causing damage.”

Ms Nyatanga said Grealish ‘narrowly missed’ the witness who described the second collision as a ‘side-swipe’.

He recognised the defendant as a professional footballer who he had seen on the television. He identified himself as a security officer to the defendant.

Premier League star pleads guilty to careless driving after crashing Sh11million Range Rover
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish in action with Brighton & Hove Albion’s Solly March [REUTERS/Laurence Griffiths]

Ms Nyatanga added: “When he 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.”

Less than 24 hours before the incident, Grealish had launched a video appeal for people to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Grealish subsequently issued a video message on Twitter in which he said he was “deeply embarrassed”.

In the message, issued on March 30, he said that he had “stupidly agreed” to go to a friend’s house.

The midfielder’s £100,000 white 4×4 hit a parked car after he spent the night at the luxury flat, believed to belong to former teammate Ross McCormack.

Grealish was photographed at the scene in Dickens Heath, Solihull, looking dishevelled wearing a pair of white slippers and a blue Givenchy hoodie.

District Judge John Bristow said Grealish already had six penalty points on his driving licence for a 2018 motorway speeding offence and is facing a driving ban.

With Grealish unable to be present this morning, Judge Bristow asked whether he could be in situ this afternoon to be sentenced, stating: “It would be preferable to dispose of the matter today. I have heard it now, I am sitting this afternoon.

“If he can get here this afternoon, I can deal with him this afternoon.”

However, with Grealish unable to attend the case has been adjourned until next month, with Judge Bristow stating: “Very well, I shall adjourn sentencing of Mr Grealish’s case to December 15 at 10am, in this court.”

 

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