Footballer escapes jail for forged drivers licence

By Gary Adair

Another month, and another high-profile footballer is in the media in connection with a motoring offence. While previous cases have involved drink driving, driving with no insurance, and speeding, the latest case of Newcastle United footballer Cheick Tiote had more serious repercussions, with the player considered lucky to escape a prison sentence.

Mr Tiote was pleaded guilty to purchasing a fake Belgian licence for approximately £12,800, which he then attempted to use to apply for a UK drivers licence. The player, originally from the Ivory Coast, had played football previously in Belgium, but joined Newcastle in England in 2010.

Judge James Goss QC gave the footballer a 7 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to carry out 180 hours of community service. The Judge made it very clear that if it were not for the guilty plea entered by Mr Tiote, he would have been sent straight to jail. He was also ordered to pay legal costs totaling nearly £4,000.

If you require legal advice or representation from a motoring offences solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 0546.