Football: Wellington Phoenix defender Tim Payne pleads guilty to drink-driving after golf cart joyride

Tim Payne.
Tim Payne. Photo credit: Getty

Wellington Phoenix defender Tim Payne has pleaded guilty to a drink-driving charge, after a joyriding incident during the A-League team's coronavirus quarantine in Sydney in March. 

Police stopped Payne while he was driving a golf buggy on a public road just after 1am on Tuesday, March 24, near Phoenix's base at the Sydney Academy of Sport at North Narrabeen, on Sydney's northern beaches.

The 26-year-old reportedly returned a 0.100 breath-alcohol reading, which carries a minimum driving disqualification of six months and maximum court-imposed fine of AU$2200 for a first offence.

On Wednesday, Payne sent an email, via his New Zealand solicitor, admitting his guilt to the Manly District Court to a mid-range drink driving charge, according to the Daily Telegraph

He will be sentenced on June 29.

Teammate Oliver Sail was also in the golf cart, but not charged. 

The Phoenix squad was in two-week isolation as part of plans to continue the A-League season in Australia, when the incident took place .

Those plans were scrapped that day, due to the coronavirus, and the Phoenix returned home. 

Days after the incident, Payne apologised for his actions. 

"I just want to say I am incredibly sorry and incredibly embarrassed for what I've done," he told NZME. 

"I take full responsibility for my actions and for what unfolded on that night. I've let so many people down, including my partner, my family, the club as a whole and individuals, such as Uffie [coach Ufuk Talay], who has given me a chance this season.

"I'm incredibly embarrassed and so sorry that I've let so many people down."

Football Federation Australia is set to announce a resumption date for A-League training.