Hardaker gets 20-month driving ban after guilty plea


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The 26-year-old signed for Wigan Warriors in May

England and Wigan Warriors rugby league player Zak Hardaker has pleaded guilty to drink-driving.

The 26-year-old was arrested in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, on 26 September and was charged later that day.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard he attempted to avoid police officers by taking his car down a cul-de-sac and running away on foot.

Hardaker, of Pontefract, was given a 20-month ban from driving.

The player, who is nearing the end of a 14-month ban from rugby for cocaine use, also received a £1,810 fine.

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The court heard officers later visited his home, with Hardaker claiming not to have been the driver or the owner of the Ford Fiesta.

The full-back, who joined Wigan in May, was found to be at more than twice the drink drive limit. He told officers he had two gins and six pints.

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Castleford Tigers dismissed Hardaker after he tested positive for cocaine

When breathalysed, Hardaker gave a reading of 74 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit being 35, the court heard.

District Judge Paul Currer, sentencing, told the defendant: “You indulged in stupidity in asserting that you were not the driver and that it was not your car.”

He added that the offence, which took place at 00:15 BST, was aggravated by the fact that Hardaker had a passenger with him.

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The 26-year-old signed for Wigan Warriors in May

Nick Hammond, defending, told how the conviction could have a “devastating effect” on the sportsman’s career.

His bid to run away was a “very amateurish attempt to avoid the attentions of the police”, he added.

At the time, his club said in a statement: “The player is co-operating with the police investigation. Wigan Warriors will allow the legal process to take its course.”

His side faces Warrington Wolves in Super League’s Grand Final on Saturday.

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