Derby pair banned after pleading guilty to drink-driving

London (AFP) –


Derby players Tom Lawrence and Mason Bennett avoided prison after they admitted drink-driving over a crash that left their club captain seriously injured.

Wales international Lawrence and Bennett were detained by police after the incident shortly before midnight on September 24, which followed a team-building dinner.

Both players admitted drink-driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident when they appeared at Derby magistrates' court on Tuesday.

District Judge Jonathan Taaffe had warned the players that a prison sentence was an option but the men walked free from court after probation services told the hearing of concerns they would struggle in custody.

He imposed a 12-month community order on both defendants, ordering them to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work, and banned them from driving for two years.

The judge told them both: "You are extremely fortunate to be here today. You had been drinking and have been involved in a road traffic collision that could have led to death."

"You are both intelligent and talented young men who have brought shame upon yourselves, your family, your profession and your club," he said.

Richard Keogh, captain of the Championship club, suffered a serious leg injury in the crash and will miss the rest of the season.