Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Amelle Berrabah banned from driving

Amelle Berrabah has been banned from driving

Amelle Berrabah has been banned from driving for 14 months after admitting drink-driving.

The 26-year-old member of the Sugababes is sorry for her "exceptionally silly" actions, her lawyer told Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court in London.

She was also fined £2,000 for driving with excess alcohol.

James O'Brien, representing the singer, said Amelle was under the impression that the alcohol would have passed through her system by the time she took to the wheel early in the morning.

He added: "She realises this is an exceptionally silly thing to have done. She realises it was wrong, she realises she has let herself down, and her family. She also has a wider public responsibility given her media profile and the fact that plenty of young people look up to her."

Earlier, Emily Maunders, prosecuting, said officers were called at 4am on Thursday September 23 after neighbours reported shouting coming from inside a flat. They spoke to the singer, who said she was waiting for a taxi.

"The taxi arrived," Miss Maunders said. "This defendant got in. The police then left the scene."

But just over an hour later, police were sent back to the address after reports that Amelle was driving away, the court heard. Officers spotted the Mercedes heading towards Camden High Street in north London, she said, adding: "Officers spotted this vehicle and they recognised the defendant."

After giving a positive roadside breath test, the pop star was arrested and taken to a police station, the court heard.

As well as the disqualification and fine, the singer was told to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. If Amelle completes a drink-driving rehabilitation programme by the end of June next year, the disqualification period will end on August 25 next year rather than December 8, Mr Baker said.

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