Stoke City striker Saido Berahino guilty of drink-driving

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The Burundi international has been punished after he was found to have gone against the law of England, where he is based

Stoke City striker Saido Berahino has been convicted of drinking and driving after acknowledging that he drove for 30 seconds after taking alcohol.

The 25-year-old was stopped and arrested by the police while speeding away from a bar in Great Russell Street, London on February 18.

The Burundi international claimed to be fleeing from robbers who stole his wristwatch and two diamond necklaces.

Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court found out that the striker "was not in fear of death or fear of serious injury" and subsequently handed him a £75,000 fine and banned him from driving for 30 months on Wednesday.

The court also discovered that Berahino has been convicted for the same offence in 2015.

The forward currently has no income, having been suspended by Stoke without pay, and has outgoings of £20,000 a month, the court heard, as reported by Sky News.

Berahino told the court: “I just felt like I was targeted because I was a professional footballer and the guys knew who I was.

"I was scared. I had just been attacked and obviously, my niece was there, and I had to take action. I had to drive off from the scene. They had a knife and a gun as well."

Berahino joined Stoke City in January 2017 from West Bromwich Albion but has not played for the Championship side since the incident.

"The club has taken a stance on it. I was suspended from the first-team action to play for the team. That was the last thing I wanted," he said.

Berahino is set to feature for Burundi in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, which starts on June 21.

The Swallows kick off their campaign in the competition against Nigeria on June 22 before playing Madagascar five days later and Guinea on June 30.

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