York & North Yorkshire

Paul Gascoigne drink-drive case dropped

A drinking and driving charge against former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has been dropped.

Gascoigne, 43, had been accused of driving under the influence at Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, last February.

His co-accused Michael Harvey, 41, will stand trial accused of drink-driving.

Mr Harvey's solicitor Charles Weidner said he understood a witness had made a statement which led the prosecution to believe there was no realistic chance of successfully prosecuting Gascoigne.

Gascoigne had been due to appear before Northallerton magistrates on 15 February.

The former England midfielder has always denied driving a Ford Transit van on 7 February 2010 while over the legal limit, and driving without insurance.

The trial has been adjourned four times.

Alcohol treatment order

At his last court appearance, the ex-Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur player was representing himself after his lawyer, Stephen Andrews, withdrew from the case.

Mr Weidner said: "I believe there has been a further statement from a witness which led the prosecution to believe there was no realistic chance of a prosecution against Mr Gascoigne.

"However, my client's trial will still go ahead."

Mr Harvey is also charged with driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it was not able to comment on the case.

Gascoigne was given a suspended prison sentence by magistrates in Newcastle on 9 December 2010 after he admitted a separate charge of drinking and driving.

The Tyneside-born former footballer was stopped by police in the city on 8 October while more than four times the legal alcohol limit.

He received an eight-week sentence, suspended for a year, and was banned from driving for three years. He was also given an alcohol treatment order.

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