Newcastle United star Joelinton has been fined less than a week’s wages after admitting drink driving.
The 26-year-old Premier League midfielder was stopped by police who spotted his 2022-plate Mercedes G wagon on Ponteland Road, Newcastle, at around 1.20am on January 12th.
The Brazilian failed a breath test which showed he had 43mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath when the legal limit is 35mg.
District Judge Paul Currer fined him £29,000 (€33,000) and banned him from driving for 12 months, which will be reduced to nine months if he completes a rehabilitation course.
The judge calculated the fine based on documents showing his weekly wage was £43,000.
The player must also pay a £2,000 surcharge and £85 costs.
Jonathan Stirland, prosecuting, said officers spotted his car driving at speed near the football ground and requested the driver to stop.
Joelinton was compliant with officers and told them he had drunk two glasses of wine earlier in the evening.
His roadside breath test recorded 50mg per 100ml which reduced to 43mg in one of two subsequent tests at Forth Banks police station, the court heard.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “He will be subject of disciplinary proceedings within the club once this process has concluded.”
District Judge Currer said he took into account Joelinton’s early guilty plea and compliance with officers, and he was convinced of the footballer’s remorse.
But he warned Joelinton that drink driving was a serious offence.
He told the player: “What is clear to me is you accept you have made a grave mistake and a significant error of judgment.
“You placed yourself in real jeopardy and it could have had disastrous consequences for the lives of others.
“I sincerely hope you have learned from this mistake and we don’t see you in this court again.”
After the case, Joelinton apologised on Instagram, saying: “Hi everyone, I wanted to acknowledge that I made a mistake and to publicly apologise to all the fans of Newcastle and all the people in this city.
“My actions unintentionally put other people in danger.
“For that, I am truly sorry.
“I will learn the lessons from this incident and will do everything I can to be a role model for my family, for football and for society.”
His appearance at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court came less than 48 hours after he scored the only goal in the Magpies’ 1-0 over Southampton in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
Charged as Joelinton Cassio, and living in Ponteland, Northumberland, he wore a dark suit, white shirt and black tie, with shiny leather shoes, and was accompanied to court by a club security official.
Nine reporters were in court to follow proceedings.
Manager Eddie Howe kept faith with the player and did not drop him after police announced he had been charged with drink driving.
The Brazilian has been a key part of the team’s success and they stand third in the table and are unbeaten in 15 Premier League games.