England''s Swann not guilty of drink-driving

Posted By: Pti

London, Feb 16 (AFP) Cricketer Graeme Swann was todayfound not guilty of drink-driving, in a case involving alate-night bid to rescue a trapped cat, and is free to join upwith the England World Cup squad.

District judge Julia Newton told Nottingham Magistrates''Court that it had not been proven that a blood sample takenfrom Swann on the night of his arrest could be used asevidence.

The England squad is in Bangladesh ahead of the WorldCup, but the bowler has yet to join them as his wife is due togive birth on Thursday.

Leaving court, Swann said: "I''m just looking forward togetting on with it -- child due tomorrow, and winning theWorld Cup."

The Nottinghamshire off-spinner, ranked the second bestTest bowler in the world, was stopped near his home inNottingham, central England, in the early hours of April 2last year.

The 31-year-old told police he had discovered his pettrapped under the floorboards after returning home from anight out with friends.

He was driving towards an all-night supermarket to buysome screwdrivers when he was pulled over.

"In the specific facts in this case, I am not sure thatthe crown can rely on the second sample of blood and thereforeI find Mr Swann not guilty," the judge said.

The court had previously heard that Swann had 83milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in thesecond sample. The legal limit for drivers in Britain is 80mg.

If found guilty, Swann could have faced up to six monthsin jail; a fine of up to 5,000 pounds (8,000 dollars, 6,000euros), and a minimum of 12 months'' disqualification fromdriving.

England''s World Cup campaign begins with a Group B matchagainst the Netherlands in Nagpur, central India, on Tuesday.


Story first published: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 0:00 [IST]
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