A professional cricketer has been disqualified from driving for 22 months after he admitted a charge of drink-driving following a car crash.
George Hankins, a batsman for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, was charged with driving with excess alcohol following an incident on April 19 in Cobham, Surrey.
Hankins, 23, appeared at Staines Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday afternoon wearing a grey suit, and accompanied by three family members.
The batsman admitted the charge during the socially-distanced hearing and received a fine of £600 as well as the 22-month driving ban.
The court heard the batsman was arrested after Surrey Police were called to an incident on Portsmouth Road shortly after 8pm where several cars had been damaged.
Prosecutor Marko Brooke said: “A car had driven into several parked cars on the road.
“On arrival, (the officer) found multiple members of fire staff present and noticed a Mercedes with substantial damage and debris scattered in the road, and the airbags were deployed.
“It was also noted there was substantial damage to several vehicles and one vehicle had been pushed (towards) a house.”
The prosecutor said the officer at the scene could smell alcohol on Hankins’s breath after he said he had been driving the Mercedes.
The 23-year-old was arrested and was later found to have a reading of 83 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
Mark Haslam, defending, said the cricketer was highly remorseful.
He said: “We have here a thoroughly decent, capable and well-regarded young man who made a quite ridiculous decision to drive at a time when he should not have been driving.”
Mr Haslam told the court Hankins made a short journey to collect hay fever tablets from a nearby garage and was distracted on his return, leading to the crash.
He said the cars were damaged in a “domino effect” which caused £18,000 worth of damage to Hankins’ Mercedes.
He continued: “He’s not a bad man, he’s actually a good man who made a very bad decision.
“In a situation where many might have considered flight or some other course of action, this defendant remained at the scene.
“He came forward at the scene to say I am the driver of this vehicle, I am the person responsible for this and yes I have had something to drink.”
Mr Haslam provided the court with several character references for the 23-year-old, adding that he will not lose his job with Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.
“‘Out of character’ may be a phrase that is overused, but it certainly applies in this case,” he added.
Magistrates were told Hankins has a net weekly income of £600 as his ability to play cricket has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and he also had to take a 20 per cent pay cut.
Passing the sentence, chair magistrate Andrew Hopgood said the disqualification can be reduced by 22 weeks if Hankins, of Keynsham, Bristol, completes a rehabilitation course.
In addition to the £600 fine, the batsman will also pay £85 in prosecution costs and a £60 surcharge within 28 days.