Hibs star Joe Newell banned from roads for drink driving three times over the limit

Hibernian midfielder Joe Newell has appeared in court to admit a drink driving charge - just hours before he takes to the field to play for the Edinburgh club against Rangers.

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Newell, appearing under his full name of Joseph Newell, was caught more than three times the legal drink drive limit when police pulled him over in October.

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The 28-year-old Hibs playmaker was taken to a local police station and cautioned and charged with the offence.

Banned: Hibs midfielder Joe Newell

Fiscal depute Drew Long told Edinburgh Sheriff Court officers on mobile patrol spotted Newell driving “particularly slowly” near to his home in Wallyford, East Lothian, at around 12.35am on October 31 this year.

Mr Long told the court hearing that “the vehicle was stopped” and Newell was identified as the driver.

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The court heard Newell undertook two breath tests and the lower reading of 67mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath was given. The legal limit is just 22mg.

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Joe Newell and Funso Ojo in action during a pre-season friendly match between Aberdeen and Hibernian at Pittodrie in July.

Solicitor Peter Malone, defending, said his client had a previous unblemished driving record and had been on the road since he was 18 years old.

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Mr Malone said Newell “regrets getting into the car after consuming alcohol” and that he “fully appreciates the seriousness of the matter”.

The lawyer added: “He assures me there will be no repeat.”

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Sheriff Alistair Noble banned the Hibs star from driving for 12 months and fined him a total of £420.

The sheriff also allowed Newell to take part in a drink drive rehabilitation scheme whereby if he passes the course successfully the road ban will be reduced by three months.

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Newell pleaded guilty to driving with 67mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath at the A6094 road at Wallyford, East Lothian, on October 31 this year.

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He is expected to play for Hibernian against league leaders Rangers in a crunch SPFL match at Easter Road tonight.

The English midfielder signed for the capital club in 2019 and extended his contract for a further two years in February this year.

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He is due to start his coaching badges next summer to continue his lifelong involvement in the game after he is no longer paid to play football for a living.

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