Footballer Saido Berahino swore when arrested for drink-driving, court hears
Stoke City footballer Saido Berahino said “this is bullshit” when he was arrested for drink-driving minutes after he was robbed, a court has heard.
The 25-year-old was found to be almost three times the drink-drive limit after his black Range Rover was stopped in London’s West End, the court heard.
Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard that police were called at around 3am on February 18 to reports of a possible stabbing involving seven people outside the VQ Cafe, in Great Russell Street.
The Burundi-born striker, who started his career with West Bromwich Albion, was behind the wheel, while his girlfriend and another man and a woman were in the car, when police followed it the short distance to Bedford Square, the court heard.
Berahino was asked about the fight through the driver’s window and told officers: “We have just had a meal, we are just going back to the hotel, we haven’t seen anything,” prosecutor Katie Weiss said.
Pc Stephen Luu said: “His eyes appeared red and he appeared really nervous. Because of how he was acting, I then came out of the police car to speak to him or work out what had happened because I believed he was linked to the violent incident.
“As I got closer to him, I could actually smell alcohol on his breath.
“I did ask him if he had been drinking, and he replied, ‘yes, just one’.”
PC Luu said Berahino looked “confused” when he asked him about blood on his hand and realised his T-shirt was ripped when he told him to get out of the vehicle.
The court heard he was asked to breathe into a breathalyser, which showed he had 112mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath.
The prosecutor said: “He was arrested and replied to caution, ‘This is bullshit’, or words to that effect.”
At the police station Berahino was found to be almost three times the drink-drive limit, with 103mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath, the court heard. The legal limit is 35mg.
Berahino told police he was robbed, while his girlfriend later said she believed her ex-boyfriend had arranged for him to be jumped and that his watch and two diamond necklaces were stolen, the court heard.
Berahino’s lawyer, Garry Green, said CCTV footage, which lasts for more than 20 minutes, shows his client was robbed.
“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,” he said.
“There is no dispute he was robbed and that robbery was caught on CTTV.”
He continued: “Three different cameras show this defendant being chased, falling to the ground and being attacked while on the ground.”
Berahino, of Old Penkridge Road, Staffordshire, denies one count of drink-driving.
Wearing a black suit, white T-shirt and black shoes with no socks, Berahino stood in court to give his name, address and confirm his nationality as British.
Stoke City have not commented on the player’s arrest.
He joined the club for an initial £12 million in January 2017 from West Brom, where he served a suspension shortly before the move.
Berahino played at youth level for England but switched to the Burundi international side, making his debut last year.