FORMER Republic of Ireland footballer Darron Gibson has been spared jail after being convicted of drink-driving for a second time.
Gibson, who has 27 caps for the Republic of Ireland, was found to be three-times over the legal alcohol limit after crashing en route to Sunderland's training ground on St Patrick's Day this year.
The Derry native, 30, had his contract with Sunderland terminated following the March 17 incident and remains unattached.
The Irishman, who also played for Manchester United and Everton, clipped a taxi's wing mirror in west Boldon and later crashed into parked cars in Dovedale Road, Fulwell after failing to stop.
His grey Mercedes 4x4 came to rest on the pavement and the road was covered with debris.
Appearing at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court today, Gibson was handed a two-year community order and banned from driving for 40 months.
District Judge Roger Elsey chose not to imprison Gibson after learning that he was experiencing a number of psychological issues at the time, for which he is now receiving treatment.
In 2015, the then-Everton midfielder admitted to drink-driving, careless driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident after colliding with three cyclists in Altrincham, Greater Manchester.
He was sentenced to a 12-month community order and banned from driving for 20 months for that conviction.