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No promises, crash footballer told

Wed, 19 Mar 2014

A JUDGE told a former Premier League footballer on Tuesday that he could "make no promises" as he faces a prison sentence of up to two years after admitting dangerous driving.

Ex-Watford, Wigan and Sheffield United striker Marlon King pleaded guilty at Nottingham Crown Court to a charge of dangerous driving after a three-car crash left a motorist with a broken arm.

King committed the offence on his 33rd birthday while driving a Porsche Panamera on the A46 in Nottinghamshire on April 26 last year.

The 35-year-old victim was airlifted to hospital after the collision in Winthorpe, near Newark.

King, of Torksey, Lincolnshire, was due to go on trial after pleading not guilty to the charge of dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

But the footballer, who appeared in the dock wearing a blue suit and open-necked white shirt, changed his plea to guilty on Tuesday morning.

King is currently without a club after he was released by League One side Sheffield United in December.

The Jamaica international's previous clubs include Gillingham, Nottingham Forest, Coventry and Birmingham.

The incident last year came after King lost a Court of Appeal challenge in 2010 against a conviction for groping a young woman and then breaking her nose after she spurned his advances.

The player, who was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment in October 2009, had his application for permission to appeal rejected by three judges in London in December 2010.

They said the prosecution had a "strong" case against King and ruled: "We have no doubt that this conviction is safe."

During that trial, London's Southwark Crown Court heard that the striker, who had been celebrating his wife's pregnancy and scoring a winning goal earlier, launched an "unprovoked" attack after repeatedly being "cold-shouldered" by women in the Soho Revue Bar in December 2008.

King claimed he was the victim of "mistaken identity". But a jury convicted him by a 10-2 majority of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old university student, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, and causing her actual bodily harm.

He also served five months in prison in 2002 after being caught at the wheel of a stolen £30,000 BMW.

At Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, Judge Nigel Godsmark QC told King he would adjourn sentencing for a pre-sentence report.

Defending King, Charles Langley asked that "alternatives" be looked at to an immediate custodial sentence.

Dangerous driving carries a maximum sentence of two years' imprisonment.

Ordering an interim driving ban, the judge told King he would make "no promises".

King, who was granted unconditional bail, will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on May 2.

By Emma Sword, Press Association