Christian Benteke: Crystal Palace striker given 12-month driving ban for speeding

Daniel O'Mahony
Getty Images

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has been banned from driving for 12 months after being caught speeding three times, including twice on same road in two months.

The Belgian forward, 28, was flagged down by police on the A3 in January and March this year at the wheel of his £136,000 Bentley Bentayga.

On January 20 he was caught driving at 80mph in a 50mph speed limit in New Malden, south west London, near his then home in Kingston.

Less than two months later on March 11, he was flashed by a speed camera at the Tibbets Underpass in Putney speeding at 89mph - more than double the 40mph limit.

Tibbet's Underpass in Putney (Google)

He pleaded guilty to the two charges in closed door hearings at the start of July. Then on July 22 he was clocked driving at 64mph in a 30mph on the South Circular in Streatham Hill.

The striker, who earns £120,000 a week, did not attend sentencing at Lavender Hill magistrates court today where he was banned from driving for 12 months and handed 18 points on his licence.

He was also ordered to pay £2,400 in fines and £380 in court costs.

Handing down the sentence, chair of the bench Pamela Stokes said: “Mr Benteke isn’t a first time offender, he has three previous offences plus the matters in front of us today.

“We note that Mr Benteke is somebody who has offended before and we have also noticed the very high speeds recorded.

“Mr Benteke is a well known footballer. He has many fans and should be a role model to those fans. His offending has fallen far short of being a role model."

The sentencing had been adjourned following a hearing last month to link the more recent offence to the case, which the footballer was convicted of under the Single Justice Procedure.

Quentin Hunt, mitigating, said Benteke was currently in Russia with the Belgian national team and wished to pass on his apologies for not attending the hearing.

He told the court: “He has also asked to especially apologise to the court and the general public at large in respect to these speeding matter.

“He is acutely aware that he may be seen by some as a role model for young people and his behaviour should reflect as such, and that the pattern of these speeding offences in unacceptable.”

Mr Hunt explained that, until recently, the footballer had lived “quite a long way” from the club’s training ground in south east London, adding: “He has a young family and is often impatient to get home to see them”.

The lawyer claimed that the case had been an “eye opener” for the footballer, who he said had “not, in the manner of some celebrities, tried on technical grounds to get out of” the charges.

The court also heard that a further speeding offence committed by Mr Benteke in September this year had been dealt with by fixed penalty notice with Thames Valley Police.

Benteke signed for Palace in 2016 for a club record £27 million after spells at Liverpool and Aston Villa.

After scoring 15 goals in his first season at Selhurst Park, the striker has scored only four over the last two Premier League campaigns.

Last month he signed a one year contract extension with the Eagles.

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