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Drink-drive Gascoigne avoids prison

Former World Cup star Paul Gascoigne avoided jail today despite being caught driving while more than four times the legal alcohol limit.

The troubled 43-year-old ex-England midfielder was given an eight week sentence, suspended for a year, when he appeared at Newcastle Magistrates' Court after he was arrested in the city's Jesmond suburb when officers spotted him driving an MG erratically.

He was found to have 142mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath - the limit is 35mg - when he was tested shortly after 2.45pm on Friday, October 8.

Gascoigne admitted drink-driving at a hearing in October and was warned then that he could be jailed.

On that occasion, District Judge Stephen Earl told him that 12 weeks in jail was a possibility, given the circumstances.

The former Newcastle United, Spurs, Lazio, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Everton player was due to be sentenced last month but failed to appear as he had checked himself into a rehab clinic on the South Coast.

A separate drink-drive charge, which Gascoigne denies, will be heard next week at Northerallerton Magistrates' Court.

Gascoigne was also banned from driving for three years today and given an alcohol treatment order.

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