Former Luton striker Ricky Miller sobs as court hears how he abused and threatened police officers
A Posh striker sobbed in court as Magistrates heard how he abused and threatened police officers after being arrested when he crashed his car on his way to training.
Ricky Miller was driving to an extra training session following the 1-1 draw with non-league Tranmere Rovers when he crashed his Range Rover.
He had been out celebrating his (then) partner’s 30th birthday following the match, and had asked manager Grant McCann for time off to mark the occasion - which had been refused.
He was arrested and taken to Peterborough City Hospital - where he swore at officers and refused to give a blood sample.
Today (Monday) Miller appeared at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court, where he pleaded guilty to failing to give sample.
The court was told Miller (29) of Rushmoor Close, Fleet, Hampshire, had an alcohol problem, and he had sought professional help to tackle the issue, checking into rehabilitation earlier this year.
The court was also told Miller had struggled with his ‘big move’ to Peterborough earlier in the year, especially as he had been unable to force his way into the starting team after serving a suspension.
Miller - who has two previous convictions for drink driving in 2006 and 2009, was banned for three and a half years, ordered to take part in a six month alcohol treatment programme and attend 35 days of rehabilitation requirement. He was also fined £300, and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £85.
Speaking outside court, Miller said: “I am sorry to everyone I have let down. “It was lucky no-one was hurt.
“You shouldn’t be drink driving.”
His solicitor, Andy Cave, said Miller was losing his job at Peterborough United as a result of the conviction - but a spokesman for the club said the centre forward had not been released from the club - although he is on the transfer list.
Mike Pryor, prosecuting, told the court: “At 8.45am on November 5 members of the public reported a white Range Rover driving in Peterborough with accident damage. “The car was later seen abandoned at a forecourt of a petrol station. “The driver had left the scene, but returned when police arrived.
“The police officers said it appeared he was under the influence. “He was arrested and taken to Thorpe Wood Police Station - but the custody sergeant said Miller needed to be taken to A&E. “He was taken to hospital, where he became aggressive and abusive.”
The court was told he made threats to the officers, including threatening to ‘bite the nose off’ one of them, as well as shouting abuse. He was later interviewed, and expressed remorse.
Mr Pryor said: “He said he was ‘confused and in a different world’ saying he was suffering from concussion from the road accident.
“He said he was devastated and wished it had never happened, saying ‘it is a bit like a nightmare.’
“He pleaded with officers not to be charged.” Mr Cave said ‘alcohol had been a demon’ for Miller.
He said: “He is hugely remorseful, he is devastated about what happened.
“The repercussions have been life changing for his career, as he has lost his job.
“He is a young professional, and had played lower league football before - Peterborough was his big chance.
“He would commute to training from Stevenage - when he joined he was suspended, and the players around him were playing extremely well and he could not ghet into the team. He was struggling to cope.
“Young players who move into the limelight in the Premier League can have a big team looking after them in the lower leagues there is not much help, and he did not manage the transition well.”
Mr Cave said that along with going into rehabilitation for his alcohol problem, he was also seeing a counsellor for depression, after his brother had died, His brother was a fire fighter killed while carrying out a rescue at a burning building.
The magistrates were told of Miller’s previous drink-drive convictions - which meant he faces a minimum three year driving ban. Miller sobbed as he addressed magistrates himself, telling them ‘I’ve sorted myself out.’
Miller will have the chance to reduce his three and a half year ban by 42 weeks if he completes a drink drive rehabilitation course before 19 December 2020.
The prosecution offered no evidence to charges of assaulting a police officer and using threatening / abusive / insulting words / behaviour with intent to cause fear of / provoke unlawful violence, and he was cleared of the charges.