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Dean Saunders jailed for refusing breath test

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Ex-Liverpool striker Dean Saunders has been jailed for 10 weeks for refusing to provide a roadside breath test.

The BT Sport pundit, 55, was stopped by police on suspicion of drink-driving in Boughton, Chester, on 10 May.

Saunders, who was capped by Wales 75 times, was slurring and had to prop himself up against his Audi A8 car when he was asked to get out of the vehicle, Chester Magistrates’ Court heard.

Jailing Saunders, District Judge Nicholas Sanders called him “arrogant”.

Outside court, Conor Johnstone, defending Saunders, said his client would be appealing against the sentence as he believed it was excessive.

Saunders was refused bail and his application to appeal will be heard at the crown court at a later date to be fixed, Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service has confirmed.

Saunders, who was sent straight to prison, was “in shock” and “disappointed” with the sentence, his lawyer said.

‘Above the law’

The former Derby County, Oxford United and Aston Villa forward, of The Paddocks in Whitegate, Cheshire, told the court he had been at Chester Races and had drunk two pints.

The court heard how at about 00:45 BST a police patrol spotted Saunders’ car driving at speed and failing to give way at a roundabout, causing another vehicle to brake.

He was arrested for failing to provide a breath test and taken to a police station when he again refused to comply.

His lawyer suggested the alcohol might have “interacted” with the medication he takes for injury to his knees and for his asthma.

Judge Sanders said: “Throughout these proceedings you have shown yourself to be arrogant, thinking you are someone whose previous and current role in the public eye entitles you to be above the law.

“In fact the opposite is true – someone in the public eye should expect a deterrent sentence when they flout the law.”

Saunders had initially denied failing to comply with a roadside breath test and failing to provide a sample at a police station, but later pleaded guilty.

He was also banned from driving for 30 months and ordered to pay court costs of £620.

Source: BBC

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