Cricketer 'drove after drinking for five hours'

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The Independent Online

The England cricketer Graeme Swann had been drinking for nearly five hours before he was pulled over for drink-driving, a court heard.

The off-spinner was stopped by police near his home in the Nottingham suburb of West Bridgford, in the early hours of 2 April. A nurse who took his blood sample that night for testing told magistrates that Swann, who plays county cricket for Nottinghamshire, had told her how much he had drunk.

"Mr Swann stated he drank approximately five glasses of white wine which were home measures," she said. "[He] stated he started drinking at approximately eight in the evening and finished drinking about half-twelve or one in the morning."

Ms Hodgkinson also told the court that she took two samples of blood from Swann that night because the first was only 2ml and she believed she needed at least 4ml for analysis, so took a second 5ml sample.

At an earlier hearing, Nottingham Magistrates Court was told that Swann, 31, told officers who pulled him over that he was popping out to buy screwdrivers to rescue his cat. He said he had drunk three or four glasses of white wine earlier in the evening to celebrate his birthday. When he returned home, he found one of his family's two cats, named Max and Paddy after the comedian Peter Kay's television series, stuck beneath floorboards after builders had been working on the house.

Unable to find a screwdriver to lift the boards, he decided to drive his Porsche Cayenne to the nearest 24-hour Asda supermarket to buy a set. He was pulled over by PC Steven Denniss, who told the court that he stopped Swann because he was driving a high-performance car in an area of the city where there had been a spate of burglaries.

The case continues.