Drink-driving footballer who boasted he was a 'millionaire' tells court he has no money

A drink-driving former Shrewsbury Town and AFC Telford player who boasted he was a millionaire “star” insisted he had no income and savings after appearing in court on an arrest warrant.

James Hurst, 26, a former West Bromwich Albion full-back who most recently played for Wrexham AFC, was described as "arrogant” by a policewoman who breathalysed him, and he failed to turn up for a trial at Llandudno magistrates’ court in North Wales last week.

Hurst was convicted of driving a Ford Focus in Wrexham high street with a breath-alcohol reading of 60 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35 – and being drunk and disorderly last December.

James Hurst in AFC Telford colours

Hurst, who had two loan spells at Shrewsbury Town in 2011/12 and 2013 and made 12 appearances for AFC Telford in 2016/17, had denied the charges but yesterday pleaded guilty to failing to surrender to bail for his trial on April 5.

"I was otherwise engaged,” he told magistrates when he was brought before them in the dock.

During the sentencing hearing, the player was warned by the court chairman it was an offence to fill in an income form incorrectly.

When the magistrates said they did not accept his completed declaration, Hurst told court chairman Brian Cossey: "That’s your problem.”

He was fined £770 for drink-driving, £330 on both of the other charges, and must pay £877 costs – a total of £2,307.

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A 20-month driving ban was also imposed.

James Hurst, left, playing for West Bromwich Albion

James Neary, prosecuting, said Hurst, of Somerville Road, Sutton Coldfield, had driven the wrong way along a one-way street, but he apologised for his mistake to a Pc and alcohol was not smelled at that stage.

Pc Sarah Smith said Hurst told her he had not drunk any alcohol because he had a match. He was allowed to turn the car around and drive off.

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Pc Smith said she returned to Wrexham police station but minutes later had been informed that Hurst was urinating against the wall of the Nationwide building society and he was unsteady on his feet.

Hurst went into a pub and the officer followed. She then breathalysed and arrested him.

PC Smith told the magistrates: "He stated ‘I’m a millionaire, I will take the ban and pay the fine.'

"I would describe his attitude as arrogant. He showed no remorse for what he had been arrested for,”

'You can sell that'

Pc Anita Hickish said Hurst insisted "I’m a star” and he said police could "Google” him.

He allegedly told police when asked to sign a document: "You can sell that.”

Mr Neary said inquiries showed he had nothing to drink at the pub where police found him after he had driven. But CCTV showed he had eight pints before getting in the car earlier.

The prosecutor added that Hurst had no previous convictions.

"Had he sought legal representation perhaps he would have been advised about the strength of his case,” Mr Neary remarked.

Hurst, defending himself, told the court he was not in employment.




Date: 13 April 2018 | Source: Shropshire Star

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