Craig Bellamy has been convicted of drink-driving after over-taking a police car while almost double the legal limit.
The former Wales international footballer was disqualified from driving for 18 months after pleading guilty to one charge at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
The ex-Cardiff City, Manchester City, and Liverpool player was driving a black Mercedes Benz when he passed the marked police car on the A48 Eastern Avenue, Cardiff, traveling towards Llandaff, on March 9, 2019.
Bellamy’s solicitor, Sian Brain, said that the star had been drinking during the day and had no intention of driving that evening.
After receiving a lift back to his property on Drewston Road, Old St Mellons, Bellamy slept and ate.
Later that evening Bellamy received a distressed call from his partner. Bellamy’s solicitor said that because he had eaten and slept, he no longer believed he was under the influence and decided to drive.
“He now realises this was bad judgement and is deeply ashamed and remorseful for his actions that lead to this event,” said Ms Brain.
The police car he passed was driving at around 40mph at the time. Bellamy was breathalysed and found to have 67 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
The legal limit in Wales and England is 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. He was arrested and taken to a police station.
A district judge imposed a £650 fine, and disqualified Bellamy from driving for 18 months. The ban will be reduced if the pundit completes a speed awareness course before March 25th, 2020.
It is not the first time Bellamy has been disqualified from driving. He was previously banned from driving for six months in 2013.
The former Liverpool, Newcastle United and Manchester City star was caught speeding on the M62 going into Liverpool. Bellamy was driving an Audi Q7 at 64mph in a 50mph limit section of the road at the time. He was disqualified for six months and ordered to pay a £900 fine plus £400 costs.
He also received a caution for common assault in February 2011 following a disturbance in Cardiff city centre the previous month.
Bellamy finished his stellar playing career with his hometown club Cardiff City, making 55 appearances and scoring six goals between 2012 and 2014, spearheading the club’s charge to promotion to the Premier League in 2013.
The striker, who also played for Celtic, West Ham, Norwich City and Coventry City, is also currently facing an investigation into alleged bullying during his time as a youth coach at Cardiff.
In a statement issued in January, he said: “I am aware of allegations that have been made against me via the media.
“I understand the need for Cardiff City to undertake a full investigation in response to these allegations and – at my own suggestion – I have temporarily removed myself from my coaching position in order to cooperate fully with the club’s inquiry.
“Obviously, I am saddened both by the allegations and the manner in which they were made and I categorically refute them.
“I fully expect to return to my coaching role and have sought legal advice as to my position. I will be making no further comment until the full investigation by the club has concluded.”