Rugby star Cipriani 'tearful' after arrest over suspected drink-driving


England rugby star Danny Cipriani cried as he was taken into a police station for alleged drink-driving, a court has heard.

The player had "glazed" eyes and smelt of alcohol when he was arrested after crashing his Mercedes into a taxi shortly after 5am on June 1 last year, Westminster Magistrates' Court was told.

Jurors heard that the Sale Sharks player, who has agreed a move to Wasps, was breathalysed and found to have 67 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath - nearly twice the drink-drive limit in England and Wales of 35 micrograms.

The 28-year-old denies drink-driving in Fulham, west London.

Sergeant Nicholas Peacock, who was manning the custody suite at Hammersmith Police Station when Cipriani was brought in, said the player was upset at being arrested.

The Met officer told the court: "I briefly spoke to him to explain the custody practice and drink-drive practice, and explained to him there might be a delay because of the time of day.

"His eyes were glazed, he smelt of intoxicating liquor, appeared to be drunk to me, and was upset and tearful."

Asked how he deals with those who have been arrested and are upset, Sgt Peacock added: "I normally try to talk to the detainees and reassure them and talk to them about the process of what is happening."

The court yesterday heard claims that police gave Cipriani special treatment and delayed breathalysing him in a move the rugby player believed was "calculated to assist him".

But Sgt Peacock said delays are common, particularly at shift changeover as was the case when Cipriani was brought in.

He also said that the sports star was kept outside in a part of the station precinct known as "the cage" in order to stop other detainees recognising him and alerting the press.

He told the court: "I was informed it was Danny Cipriani, he was a well-known celebrity.

"I requested that the male please be kept outside in the cage to stop him being seen by others.

"I was booking in someone who was unbalanced and had volatile behaviour.

"The concern is that if you have a well-known person and they are seen by other people, that information can potentially be leaked to the press."

Wearing a navy suit and dark tie, Cipriani sat with his arms crossed and shook his head as he listened to proceedings.

The trial continues.