Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has been slammed by a magistrate after he was banned from driving for a series of speeding offences.
The Eagles forward, who already had nine points on his licence for previous offences, was handed a 12-month road ban at London’s Lavender Hill Magistrates Court on Friday.
Chairwoman of the bench Pamela Stokes said the 28-year-old Belgian international, who did not attend the hearing, had “fallen far short” of being a role model to fans.
She said: “I note that Benteke is someone who has offended before, and I also noted the very high speeds recorded for these matters before us today.
“Benteke is a well-known footballer who has many fans, and he should be seen as a role model to those fans – his offending has fallen far short of being a role model.”
The court heard Benteke, of Kingston Hill, Surrey, was caught driving his Bentley at 80mph in a 50mph zone on the A3 in Richmond, south-west London, on January 20.
He was later clocked at 89mph in a 40mph zone on a stretch of the same road in Putney on March 11. He admitted both offences.
He was also found guilty of driving the vehicle at 64mph in a 30mph zone in Streatham Place, south-west London, on July 22.
Benteke was also ordered to pay £2,780 in fines, costs and surcharges.
Benteke was given six penalty points for each of the three new speeding offences which were dealt with by the court on Friday.
He was also ordered to pay £800 in fines for each of these offences, along with £100 in costs for each matter and a £80 surcharge.
Benteke apologised through his lawyer Quentin Hunt for not attending the hearing as it clashed with a commitment to be with the Belgian national team in Russia.
The footballer also apologised for his actions.
Mr Hunt told the court: “He has asked me specifically to apologise to the court and the general public in respect of his behaviour on speeding matters.
“He is acutely aware that he maybe seen by some as a role model to young people and his behaviour should reflect as such. His pattern of speeding is unacceptable.”