Fallen Idol Korben is banned from the roads

TV pop show star made £100,000, but his dad has to pay court fine

A year ago Pop Idol Korben was at the height of his singing career playing to thousands of screaming girls at Wembley Arena – but on Tuesday he appeared before Bedford Magistrates, unemployed and skint, charged with drink driving.

The fallen idol, real name Chris Niblett, pleaded guilty at Bedford Magistrates to being twice over the legal limit while driving his BMW Mini Cooper in St Paul's Square on April 18.

Prosecutor Robert Baber told the court he was stopped by police and when breathalised was found to have 70 micrograms of alcohol to 100 millilitres of breath. He was arrested and taken to Greyfriars.

Niblett, 23, of Spenser Road, represented himself in court. He told magistrates he was suffering from depression after being unemployed for some time.

He said: "I know it is stupid to drink and drive but I do feel very sorry for what I have done.

"I need to drive for my new job with an entertainments company in Devon, but I know there is no excuse for drink driving and I understand that."

Chairman of the bench Apu Bagchi banned the shamed Pop Idol contestant from driving for 18 months.

He said: "The breathaliser reading was very high.

"I don't understand why you drove in town as you live in Spenser Road. I have no alternative but to disqualify you."

Niblett agreed to take part in a course in Devon, which highlights the dangers of drink driving and costs around 200.

If satisfactorily completed his sentence will be reduced by four and a half months.

He was also fined 70 and ordered to pay 55 costs, which his father, who sat in the public gallery through out the hearing, agreed to pay.