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Rugby star ‘had glazed eyes’ after crash

Danny Cipriani

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Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

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Danny Cipriani is alleged to have admitted to a police officer that he had been drinking

England rugby player Danny Cipriani had “glazed” eyes and smelt of alcohol after he crashed his car into a taxi, a court has heard.

The Mercedes he was driving was travelling “very fast” and “swerving and swinging” across the road before the crash, the taxi driver said.

Afterwards, Mr Cipriani admitted he had been drinking and could not stand or speak properly, the prosecution said.

The Sale Sharks fly-half, 28, denies drinking and driving.

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The taxi driver, Muhammad Qasim, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court that the sportsman hit his Toyota Prius on Imperial Road in Fulham, west London, at 05:15 BST on 1 June last year.

He said: “When I saw that the car was swerving and swinging here and there I slowed my car very slowly and during that moment the car hit me.”

He told the court he went over and spoke to Mr Cipriani and asked him why he hit his car, to which the player responded that the taxi driver had hit him.

PC Shane Elsworth told the court that he went to speak to the rugby player following the crash.

“I noticed that I could smell alcohol or liquor on his breath. His eyes were slightly glazed and he had the appearance of having consumed alcohol, of being intoxicated,” he said.

He added that Mr Cipriani, who will rejoin former club Wasps from next season, admitted drinking alcohol “about an hour” before the crash and then handed over his car keys.

Mr Cipriani, from Raynes Park in south-west London, was breathalysed and found to have 67 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath, it is alleged.

The legal limit in England and Wales is 35 micrograms.

The trial continues.

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