1 users online

Bernard (Admin)

Fernandes faces jail

last updated Thursday 09th September 2004, 3:59 PM

Southampton winger Fabrice Fernandes spoke of his "regret" after he was warned he faced jail for driving dangerously.

Fernandes, 24, who admitted the charge, was nearly twice over the legal alcohol limit as he drove through a total of nine red traffic lights with a police patrol car in hot pursuit.

At one point he narrowly missed a bus.

The French player, who had a number of passengers in his Porsche Cayenne, was finally forced to a halt in Tottenham Court Road, central London.

Fernandes, of Pacific Close, Southampton, spoke just twice during the five-minute plea and directions hearing at London's Southwark Crown Court - once to confirm his name and then again to admit committing the offence at 4.10am on May 10 this year.

Wearing a slate-grey designer suit, white shirt and silver-patterned silk tie, he stood with his hands clasped in front of him as the charge was read out by the court clerk.

That referred to him dangerously driving his black highpowered sports car first down High Holborn, into Andrew Borde Street, and along Charing Cross Road, before finally turning into Tottenham Court Road.

After entering his guilty plea, his defence QC, David Fish, asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on his client.

Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith agreed and adjourned the case until October 6.

He also allowed Fernandes to remain on unconditional bail, but then warned the winger: "I don't want you to think, just because I am putting this case back, that it is not obviously a very serious matter for which a custodial sentence will be in the mind of the sentencing judge."

Outside court Fernandes was asked if he regretted his behaviour.

"Yes," he replied, "I regret."

Meanwhile, Mark Fenhalls, prosecuting, said he was unable to say why a charge of driving with excess alcohol - which had been read out when the player appeared at Bow Street Magistrates' Court last month - was no longer on the indictment.

However, the barrister maintained the fact the defendant was nearly twice over the breath alcohol limit - 61 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath compared with a legal maximum of 35 - could be regarded as part of the dangerous driving count.

Source Sporting Life
Since 1998
"It's been updated!"