Arsenal’s Nigerian starlet Chuba Akpom has been banned from driving for 17 months following a drunk driving incident.
Akpom crashed his Range Rover around 4.50am on the morning of December 17, smashing a fence and furniture near his home in Barnet, North London.
Police followed the trail of destruction and gave Akpom a breath test. After it showed he was above the legal limit, Akpom was taken to police station and later charged with drink driving.
His father, who didn’t know of the arrest, had feared he was kidnapped after seeing the wreckage in the morning.
Akpom was fined £9,350, with £85 costs and disqualified from driving for 17 months by Willesden Magistrates Court on Monday.
“His father woke up later and found the crashed car outside the gate with no driver and for a moment he was seriously concerned about what had happened to his son,” Akpom’s lawyer Aki Achillea told the court.
“He was about to ring hospitals and the police, fearing his son, being a high-profile footballer, had been abducted so this has affected the family as well.
“He has let himself down and made a dreadful mistake for a boy that has always been so disciplined.”
Mr Achillea added: “For someone who does not drink alcohol it does have an effect. He clearly should have taken a taxi home, but it is not anything he considered because he has not done this before.”
The lawyer pleaded with the court not to take his licence away as there have been “discussions” with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger about loaning him out.
He added: “He will have to ensure there is someone who can drive him around and his movements will be curtailed by that burden.
“It will have an onerous effect on him, considering the risk to his safety and well-being.”
The 22-year-old committed the offence during a night out partying with friends in London. After the group moved from the West End to a 21st Birthday bash at a club in Watford, the striker ‘stupidly agreed’ to put vodka in two glasses of cranberry juice.
“His driving was erratic and he was observed by an off-duty police officer. He was parallel to a Shell petrol station and lost control, mounting the grass verge,” prosecutor Zahid Hussain told the court.
“He crashed into roadside furniture then drove back towards the road and into a heavy-duty fencing, knocking it down and out of the ground.
“He caused extensive damage to his Range Rover and left considerable debris strewn around the road.”