A Stoke City footballer was arrested for drink and driving minutes after he was robbed, a court has heard.
Saido Berahino was almost three times the alcohol limit when his Range Rover was stopped in London’s West End at about 03:00 on 18 February, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard.
The court heard there “is no dispute” over the robbery, which was caught on CCTV.
The court heard police were called to reports of a possible stabbing involving seven people outside the VQ Cafe, in Great Russell Street.
The Burundi-born striker was behind the wheel of the car when police followed it the short distance to Bedford Square, the court heard.
He was stopped and asked about the fight through the vehicle’s window but said had not seen anything, prosecutor Katie Weiss said.
PC Stephen Luu said Berahino appeared “nervous”, which led the officer to believe he was linked to the incident.
“As I got closer to him, I could actually smell alcohol on his breath,” the officer said.
Berahino was found to have 103mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the court heard. The legal limit is 35mg.
He told police he was robbed, while his girlfriend said she believed her ex-boyfriend had arranged for Berahino to be attacked, the court heard.
His watch and two diamond necklaces were stolen,
His lawyer, Garry Green, said: “The issue is whether or not this defendant had to drive his car as a necessity… the background being, and it is accepted by the prosecution, that he was robbed some minutes before.”
Speaking in court, Berahino said: “I was scared. I had just been attacked and obviously my niece was there and I had to take action. I had to drive off from the scene.
“They had a knife and a gun as well.”
He said he did not immediately tell police about the robbery after they were called.
“In the past I have been in the media and I didn’t want anything to get out in the media,” he said.
“It would jeopardise my career and I was scared of that.
“It’s had a massive impact on my career. The club has taken a stance on it. I was suspended from first team action to play for the team.
“That was the last thing I wanted.”
The trial continues.
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