Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish smelled of “intoxicating liquor” and was slurring his words after crashing his £80,000 Range Rover during March’s Covid-19 lockdown, a court heard today.
Grealish, 25, breached coronavirus lockdown rules to visit friends a day after posting a Twitter video urging everyone to stay at home to fight Covid, and today admitted two charges of dangerous driving.
After leaving the party, he got behind the wheel of his 4×4 before reportedly reversing into a parked silver Citroen van, a £30,000 silver C-class Mercedes and a £20,000 blue Mercedes before leaving the scene, a district judge heard.
A security guard who confronted the midfielder following the crash described him as smelling of alcohol, having slurred speech and being unsteady on his feet.
Today the midfielder failed to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court but indicated via his solicitor Barry Warburton he was pleading guilty to two driving offences.
Mr Warburton – who has a string of footballer clients including Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch – told the court he had tried to reach Grealish to ask if he could attend court this afternoon but he was at training and his phone was in his locker.
The judge replied: ‘Very well, I shall adjourn sentencing of Mr Grealish’s case to December 15 at 10am, in this court.’
Photographs circulated of Grealish, wearing odd footwear, after the crash in March
A video grab showing Grealish’s damaged Range Rover after he crashed it after a lockdown party
The Villa captain admitted two counts of driving without due care and attention in connection with the crash on March 29 and another incident on October 18.
The court heard on the second occasion, he was caught driving recklessly on the M42, A446 and on Bodymoor Heath Road, where Villa’s training ground is based.
He denied failing to stop following an accident and failing to report an accident and the charges then dismissed by the district judge.
The case was adjourned and Grealish now faces being banned from driving when he appears at the same court on December 15 as he already has six points on his license.
Prosecutor Tino Nyatanga, said: ‘Around 8.40am on Sunday, March 29, there was a three vehicle road traffic collision in Solihull.
‘The collision occurred on a residential cul-de-sac road with a number of parking bays for either residents or members of the public.
‘At the time of the collision the weather conditions were fine and clear and there was good visibility.’
Grealish previously apologised for ‘stupidly’ agreeing to visit a friend’s flat after urging fans to stay indoors for the virus lockdown.
It was reported he had been visiting ex-Scottish striker and former Villa player Ross McCormack and former Leeds player Tony Capaldi was also in attendance.
Pictures emerged online at the time showing a dazed-looking Grealish at the crash scene dressed in one black slipper and a white slip-on sandal.
Villa fined him £150,000 for breaching Government guidelines and donated the money to The University Hospitals Charity in Birmingham.
Grealish, 25, admitted one offence in connection with a collision in Dickens Heath, near Solihull, on March 29, six days after national restrictions were imposed nationwide
Damage to the driver’s side of a Mercedes car that Grealish crashed into during the incident
In a video message to fans following the incident, Grealish said: ‘Hi, everybody just want to do a quick video message just to say how deeply embarrassed I am by what has happened this weekend.
‘I know it is a tough time for everyone at the moment, being locked indoors for so long, and I obviously got a call off a friend asking to go round to his and I stupidly agreed to do so.
‘I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake as I did so I obviously urge everyone to stay at home and follow the rules and the guidelines of what we’ve been asked to do.
‘I know for a fact that I will be doing that in the near future now and like I said I urge everyone to do the same.’
At the time of his fine, Villa said in a statement: ‘Aston Villa is deeply disappointed that one of our players ignored the Government’s guidance on staying at home during the Coronavirus crisis.
‘Club Captain Jack Grealish has accepted that his decision to leave his house was wrong and entirely unnecessary.
‘It breached the government guidelines which are clear and should be adhered to by everybody.
‘The player will be disciplined and fined with the proceeds donated to The University Hospitals Charity in Birmingham.’
Pictures emerged online of Grealish exiting the flat of ex-Scottish striker and former Villa player Ross McCormack after the crash (left). He is pictured on the right playing for Villa on Saturday
Another grab showing damage to Grealish’s car after he crashed it. The winger did not appear in court but entered pleas through his lawyer