A promising Manawatu cricketer has escaped conviction after driving drunk because a conviction would have seriously damaged his prospects of playing overseas.
Manawatu cricketer and pace bowler Bevan Small faced a charge of driving with an excess breath alcohol level of 826 micrograms, more than double the legal limit of 400 for an adult.
He was caught driving in central Palmerston North about 3am on June 24 last year.
The case was shifted to the Wellington District Court where he pleaded guilty and asked for a discharge without conviction on the basis of consequences to any international career he might pursue.
Small, 21, had surgery in April to remove a portion of a rib which had been hitting the top of his pelvis causing pain since 2010.
He has been hoping for a spot on the Central Districts team in the upcoming season.
His lawyer Robert Lithgow, QC, told Judge Denys Barry today that Small had already paid $850 in a donation and completed 19 hours of 60 hours community work.
Judge Barry said the work had been done at the Ongley Park sport facility and the donation, which was the amount he could have expected in the fine, had gone to Salvation Army.
Small is to complete the community work at the YMCA holiday programme.
Judge Barry said he had received a letter from New Zealand Cricket Players Association boss Heath Mills and from Small's British agent showing there was a real prospect that a conviction would impose barriers to his obtaining a professional contract overseas.
He said he was satisfied that a discharge without conviction was appropriate. He also disqualified Small from driving for six months.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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