Don't let Fergie see you smiling… drink-driving Tunnicliffe beams outside court after being banned for 18 MONTHS
12:41 GMT, 25 October 2012
Manchester United starlet Ryan Tunnicliffe has been banned from driving for 18 months for drink-driving.
The 19-year-old crashed his 60,000 Range Rover on October 13 and was later charged with driving with excess alcohol.
He appeared at Bury Magistrates Court on Thursday morning and was banned, as well as being hit with an 800 fine.
Ban: Ryan Tunnicliffe smiled as he arrived at Bury Magistrates Court for his hearing
The 19-year-old crashed his luxury Range Rover into a parked van after he drank 'a lot' of alcohol the night before with his family.
The unattended Ford Transit van in Heywood, Greater Manchester, was shunted five metres (16.4ft) into the stone wall of a house in the incident.
No one was hurt in the collision apart from Tunnicliffe's front seat passenger, a friend, who received minor injuries.
Aside from the damage to the van and the house involved, his Range Rover was written off at a cost of 30,000.
The footballer phoned the police from the scene in Green Lane shortly after 2.15pm on October 13 and officers attended.
A police constable noticed his breath smelt of alcohol.
He provided a positive breath test at the scene and then gave a reading of 62mg/100ml, the legal limit being 35mg, at Bury police station.
Tunnicliffe, of Heywood, pleaded guilty to the offence on his first appearance over the matter at Bury Magistrates' Court.
The court heard both his family and club were 'very disappointed' about the incident.
Damage: This picture shows Tunnicliffe's smashed-up Range Rover
His ban is likely to be reduced by
four months after Tunnicliffe indicated he would be interested in
attending a drink-drive rehabilitation course.
He was fined 800 and ordered to pay 85 prosecution costs and an 80 victim surcharge.
Tunnicliffe was told to take his hands out of his pockets before the hearing started.
Caroline Patrick, prosecuting, said
his vehicle left the road and went on to a footpath before hitting the
van which was knocked into the wall and the wooden garden gates of a
Chris Proctor, defending, said: 'My
instructions are that he had consumed alcohol the evening before and
unfortunately, in an error of judgment on his part, he thought he would
be below the legal limit and he was able to drive.
'Generally he is a very sensible
young man. He is a professional footballer and this incident happened in
an international break in the calendar.
'He had some drinks with his family. He generally does not tend to drink alcohol because of his footballing commitments.'
Tunnicliffe had gone to collect a
vehicle he had recently bought before the incident at a notorious
accident blackspot, the solicitor said.
Mr Proctor added this was not a situation in which his client drank alcohol and then immediately got behind the wheel.
A number of letters of character reference were handed to the presiding magistrate, District Judge Richardson.
Mr Proctor said: 'The third parties in this case, his family and club, are very disappointed at what has happened.'
On his way: Ryan Tunnicliffe made his debut against Newcastle – to win his dad 10,000
The judge told Tunnicliffe: 'I appreciate what is said on your behalf that you did not drink in daylight hours on that day.
'What was reflected is what you drank the night before, which must have been a lot.
'I think you are genuinely contrite
about that and I am going to give you full credit for your guilty plea
and that you had the courage to phone the police yourself.
'There is also nothing like this in your background.
'You are a well-paid athlete and the fine reflects that. It is a reflection of your income.'
It was not stated in court whether the Range Rover was the car he had left home to pick up.
Tunnicliffe hit the headlines recently when he made his debut for United – and made his father 10,000 richer in the process.
Mick Tunnicliffe placed a 100 bet when
his son was nine that he would one day play for United (at odds of
100-1) – and his moment came when Marnick Vermijl was replaced during
the 2-1 win over Newcastle in the Capital One Cup.
there could be worse to come for bookmakers William Hill, who revealed
they also took another bet from Tunnicliffe's dad of 100 at odds of
350/1 that the young midfielder will one day play for England at some
stage in his career.
The wager could net Tunnicliffe Snr a whopping 35,000 payout.
last time a bet of this nature cost us 10,000 was when Chris Kirkland
made his debut in goal for England, also landing a 100 bet for his
father,' said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.
'We will obviously be paying close attention to the progress of Ryan’s career in the future.'
Tunnicliffe, who spent last season under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson's son, Darren, on loan at Peterborough United, was one of a number of youngsters blooded last month.
Winger Robbie Brady and defenders Scott Wootton and Michael Keane were also given run-outs by Ferguson at Old Trafford as United cruised through to a tricky fourth round meeting with Chelsea.