A UK soccer player, Grant Leadbitter, faced court after a late-night car chase in which he thought he was escaping fans from a rival team - but the car in pursuit was the police.
Sunderland midfielder Leadbitter slowed down and switched lanes and sped up, eventually hitting 40mph (64kmh) over the speed limit.
At Gateshead Magistrates' Court, Leadbitter pleaded guilty to speeding. However, he argued special consideration should be given on any penalty as he thought Newcastle United fans were targeting him after he clashed with them on a night out in the city, reported The Guardian newspaper.
"My heart was beating fast, I was scared and I wanted to get home as quickly as possible," Leadbitter told the court.
District Judge Roger Elsey said he accepted that Leadbitter thought he was being followed, but not for the entire chase. Leadbitter received a 14-day ban from driving and was fined ₤250 ($499).
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