Nile Ranger admits obstructing a police officer

Former Premier League striker Nile Ranger, 30, admits obstructing a police officer who pulled him over for drink driving on Christmas Eve

  • Nile Ranger pleaded guilty to obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty
  • 30-year-old also accused of failing to provide a specimen of breath at the station
  • Footballer is taking time out from Southend United while nursing a groin injury

Nile Ranger leaving Ealing Magistrates’ Court, London, May 10

Former Premier League striker Nile Ranger has admitted obstructing a police officer after being pulled over for drink driving on Christmas Eve.

Ranger, who played for Newcastle United and England under 19s, was taken to Heathrow Police station on suspicion of drunk driving last year.

He is said to have refused to test how much alcohol he had drunk at the station’s custody suite.  

Ranger, 30, pleaded guilty to obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court.

But his trial for failing to provide a specimen of breath was adjourned after CCTV footage of what happened at the police station had failed to be provided to the defence.

It is the latest in a long line of troubles for the footballer, who said the game has ‘pretty much washed its hands’ of him.  

At Ealing Magistrates’ Court yesterday Ranger, who is taking time out from Southend United nursing a groin injury, wore a Nike tracksuit to the hearing and was allowed to sit outside the dock. 

Caitlin Evans, representing the footballer, said: ‘It is Mr Ranger’s case the officer’s account, which was received on 5 May, that there are discrepancies.

Ranger, 30, pleaded guilty to obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court 

‘Critically the main issue is whether the statutory warning is given.

‘In my submission, it is in the interest of justice for CCTV footage to be provided. It’s critical to both the defence and Crown’s case.

‘I would submit that with the Crown serving this evidence so late, a month after it was due and a few days before the trial, the defence has not had time.

‘It would be in the interest of justice for an adjournment to be granted.

‘The defence is at a disadvantage to counter the words of an officer when CCTV footage has not been produced.’

Beata Murphy, prosecuting, opposed the adjournment as two police officers who were going to be witnesses in the trial had attended the hearing.

Nile Ranger of Southend United during Sky Bet League Two between Southend and Salford City at Roots Hall Stadium, February 27

Magistrate chair Grace Dent said: ‘We have fully considered the request and we are going to grant an adjournment as we believe it would be in the interest of justice.

‘The CPS should provide footage of the custody procedure on CCTV to the defence. The adjournment is granted.’

He was released on unconditional bail.  

In an interview with football magazine Four Four Two last year, Ranger said the game has ‘pretty much washed its hands’ of him and he is treated like the ‘Osama Bin Laden of football’.

He said: ‘I hope and pray I’ll get one last chance. If I do, I’m ready to grab it with both hands.’

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