Ipswich striker Norwood banned from roads after driving home from night out

James Norwood was arrested last August on suspicion of drink driving

James Norwood was arrested last August on suspicion of drink driving - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town footballer James Norwood has been banned from the roads after driving home from a night out at a Waterfront bar.

Striker Norwood, 30, appeared before Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday to face a drink-driving charge following his arrest last summer.

After playing in the Blues' pre-season friendly with Cambridge United on August 29 last year, Norwood told the court he drove in his Audi Q8 to Aurora on Ipswich Waterfront with his former teammate and lodger Paul Mullin.

The pair stayed until closing time and Norwood said he had drunk "just under two pints" of Birra Moretti beer.

Norwood then drove Mullin and two women they had met at the bar back to their flat and stayed for between 20 and 30 minutes.

He said he had not had any more to drink while he was there before driving home.

Norwood told the court: "I planned to have a couple of drinks, listen to music and then go home.

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"We were going to London the next day so we weren't going to be drinking heavily."

Prosecutor Robert Ireland asked Norwood if he had felt “intoxicated” and the footballer replied: “No, not at all.”

Norwood was stopped by officers shortly after 3am on the following morning after he overtook a police car in Chapel Road, Cockfield.

Police constable Dominic Mason, the arresting officer, said Norwood was given a chance to provide a breath sample “five or six” times before successfully doing so, “suggesting the defendant wasn’t blowing”.

He did so after Pc Mason “warned he would be arrested if he failed to provide a sample”.

Eventually, Norwood recorded 58 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath - the legal limit being 35.

He was subsequently arrested and charged but pleaded not guilty to drink-driving last December.

Mullin, who was in the car at the time of Norwood's arrest, told the court he did not believe his friend was intoxicated, adding: "I would have never got in a car with someone I thought was incapable (of driving)."

The case was due to be heard by magistrates in March but was put back by four months.

Norwood was sentenced to a 40-month driving ban and fined £5,000.

He was also ordered to pay £750 in prosecution costs and a £190 victim surcharge.

In a statement, a spokesman for Ipswich Town said: "Although this is a private matter, we have reminded James of his responsibilities as an employee of Ipswich Town Football Club and the level of conduct the club expects.

"James has expressed his deep regret over the incident that brought him to court and fully acknowledges that a charge - and conviction - of drink-driving is a very serious matter.

"The court has made its decision and James now wants to put the situation behind him and concentrate on his football.

"He has also volunteered to work with the club’s charitable arm - the Ipswich Town Community Trust - on some initiatives within the local area."