Inglis escapes conviction for drink driving because of community work

NRL star Greg Inglis has escaped conviction for drink-driving, owing partly to his charitable nature.

The South Sydney captain was stripped of the captaincy of the Australian rugby league team after he was caught speeding at 99km/h in an 80km/h zone and driving with a blood-alcohol level of .085 on the Great Western Highway in South Bowenfels, just outside Lithgow, on October 1.

Greg Inglis arrives at court on Monday.

Greg Inglis arrives at court on Monday.Credit:AAP

Inglis was returning to Sydney from Dubbo where he had been playing in the Koori Knockout.

He was issued with an infringement notice for speeding and pleaded guilty to drink driving in November.

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In sentencing Inglis at the Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson acknowledged the footballer’s major community contributions, charity work and mentoring roles to Aboriginal people, as well as the toll the offence had on his career.

“I can think of no more significant punishment than to be stripped of the captainship [of the Kangaroos],” Mr Henson said.

He said Inglis’s contribution to his community off the football field “cannot be ignored” and that not recording a conviction “wouldn’t be an exercise of being mercifully weak.”

He was handed an 18-month community release order, requiring him to be of good behaviour.

More to come

Angus Thompson is a reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.

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