DRINK-DRIVER: Phillips Idowu has been banned two years from driving (PA)
FORMER WORLD Champion triple jumper Phillips Idowu has been banned from driving after being caught in his car under the influence of alcohol.
The 34-year-old who claimed silver at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 was stopped by police in Essex while driving his Land Rover in Bridge Hill.
He was two and a half times over the legal alcohol limit.
Idowu who admitted drinking and driving at Chelmsford magistrates received a two-year ban, fine of £145 and 50 hours of community service.
His solicitor Joanna Life told the court he had been out drinking the night before with friends after returning home to sleep he was forced to leave.
Life said: "He just got in the car because circumstances forced him to leave the house in a hurry and he was driving a short distance."
After the hearing, Essex police confirmed they had been called to a "domestic incident" at Idowu's home before his arrest.
His solicitor added: "He planned to stay at a hotel which was under a mile away to get away from the circumstances which had unfolded at the house."
Idowu was described as unemployed with no current income and living of savings.
He asked to be fined rather than given community service due to a work opportunity abroad starting next month.
Magistrate Jeremy Bachelor ignored the request and ordered him to complete the unpaid work within the next 12 months.
He announced he is taking a break from athletics “for the foreseeable future”.