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Footballer helps police after scare

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A top flight footballer who admitted four driving offences and faced the possibility of spending Christmas behind bars when he failed a breath test is now backing a police campaign to stop drink driving.

Barry Bannan, who plays for Aston Villa, is supporting West Midlands Police's Christmas campaign after he escaped a custodial sentence in November but was banned for driving for 18 months and fined £4,500.

When the Scottish international does get his licence back he can expect higher car insurance premiums, but for now he is counting himself lucky that no-one was injured due to his actions.

Bannan said: "Loads of things go through your head at the time and up until I got out of the court case I was thinking the worst. I was thinking I could be in jail.

"It was down to the judge, so there was a strong possibility that I could have gone to jail.

"I was trying to put on a brave face when I was back playing football after."

© Press Association 2011