A footballer arrogantly told police, ‘I’m a millionaire, just fine me, I don’t give a f*ck, google me’, when he was caught drink-driving.
Former Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion player James Hurst, from Sutton Coldfield, allegedly also boasted ‘I’m a star’, when police arrested him on suspicion of drink-driving on December 17, 2017.
An arrest warrant has now been issued for Hurst after he failed to turn up for a trial at Llandudno magistrates’ court in north Wales last Thursday (April 5).
He’d been placed on bail to appear at the trial and was unrepresented in court.
Police were alerted to Hurst when his Ford Focus was spotted on CCTV driving through a one-way system along Wrexham high street in the wrong direction.
As reported by the Birmingham Mail, when he was pulled over, Hurst was initially polite to officers claiming he hadn’t had a drink as he had a match to play.
PC Sarah Smith told the court how Hurst was then allowed to turn the car around and drive off.
However, on her return to the police station PC Smith was told Hurst had been caught urinating against the wall of a building society.
Finding him in a local pub, Hurst was swiftly breathalysed and arrested, before being taken to the station.
While there, his attitude quickly changed, with PC Smith informing the court:
He stated ‘I’m a millionaire, I will take the ban and pay the fine. I don’t give a f*ck’. I would describe his attitude as arrogant.
He showed no remorse for what he had been arrested for.
She added when the 26-year-old was given his alcohol print-out he told officers ‘you can sell that’.
PC Anita Hickish also told the court Hurst insisted ‘I’m a star’ and informed police officers they could ‘google’ him.
Hurst was soon convicted of driving while over the limit and being drunk and disorderly.
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During the trial, prosecutor Nia Lloyd told the court Hurst informed the police he was in the pub with a friend watching the West Bromwich Albion game against Manchester United.
Denying the offences, the footballer claimed he had only started drinking after driving but court chairwoman Ann Dickinson remained unconvinced declaring ‘we find the case proved beyond reasonable doubt’.
She concluded there was ‘overwhelming’ evidence against Hurst whose breath-alcohol count was 60 micrograms. The limit is 35.
During his career, Hurst has played for numerous teams including Torquay, AFC Telford and Portsmouth.
First coming through the ranks at West Bromwich Albion, Hurst chose a scholarship with Portsmouth despite Arsenal, Manchester United and Aston Villa also reportedly looking to sign him.
Having failed to make an appearance for the team, Hurst rejoined West Brom on a two-year deal in 2010.
He made one appearance for the Baggies between 2010 and 2013 and three for Birmingham City during a 2012 loan spell.
Most recently, Hurst had played for Wrexham but had been left without a club since he left by mutual consent in March.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.