SWINDON Town’s groundsman has been warned he will go to jail if he breaks the law again after crashing his car while more than three times over the legal limit.
Marcus Cassidy, regarded as a key figure among the backroom staff, drove out of a garage in Stroud and into gates before walking away holding a bottle of wine.
Cassidy, 32, was already banned from the road for three years for drink-driving, but got behind the wheel on October 20, Stroud Magistrates’ Court heard.
Prosecutor Peter Ashby said: “He bought a bottle of wine in the garage and got in his car. While driving away he lost control and collided with a large metal gate to a driveway.”
Police, who were called by a witness, saw Cassidy walking off with a bottle of red wine and quickly tracked him down.
“I’m told he showed genuine remorse,” said Mr Ashby.
Cassidy gave a breath test reading of 114mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.
Cassidy, who lives in Cainscross on the outskirts of Stroud, admitted drink-driving, driving whilst disqualified and driving with no insurance.
Last year he had eight points put on his licence for failing to stop and report an accident, then was banned for 36 months for drink-driving.
Lucy Beales, defending, said he was an alcoholic who had abstained for eight months, but had been celebrating after completing a probation order.
“Quite ironically, he was celebrating with alcohol,” she said.
“He realises the seriousness of what he has done and is very remorseful.”
Bench chairman Jeffrey McNally put Cassidy under a 7pm to 5.30am curfew for 12 weeks, except when Swindon play on Saturdays and Tuesdays, and banned him from driving for four years.
He was also jailed for eight weeks, suspended for 12 months for each offence, and must complete a 12-month supervision order.
Cassidy is highly regarded by fans and staff at Swindon Town. His duties include laying the pitch markings, using grain to get the grass growing and putting up the goal posts. In December 2010, Cassidy and his team worked through a freeze to ensure that Swindon’s fixture was the only League One game to go ahead.
In April he took part in a scheme where youngsters spent time at the club getting to know more about various career paths.
He said at the time: “With groundsmanship it’s about getting the pitch in the best playing condition possible for the first team, which is an all-year round job. When the season ends it’s the most important time because you have to give the pitch a bit of TLC and get it ready and playable for the next season.
“The skills you learn include growing grass in a stadium against its natural environment and this can apply to golf, tennis, rugby and a lot of different other sports.”
Swindon Town did not reply to a request for comment yesterday.