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Apr 5, 2013

Ben Arfa disqualified from driving

Newcastle United winger Hatem Ben Arfa has been disqualified from driving after pleading guilty to driving offenses.

Ben Arfa, 26, has been banned for 49 days and forced to pay a £5,100 fine after being caught doing 110mph in a 70mph zone last year. The France international was also prosecuted for not holding valid insurance on the Mercedes he was driving at the time.

Following the incident on September 6, 2012, Ben Arfa was summoned to a hearing at Newcastle Magistrates Court, where it was alleged he sped past a police car on the A696 Wolsington Bypass dual carriageway in Newcastle.

Speaking via an interpreter, the Magpies midfielder pleaded guilty to holding no insurance and one count of speeding.

Chris Anderson, the solicitor for the prosecution, said: "Just after 3.30 in the afternoon on September 6, a vehicle driven by Mr Ben Arfa overtook a police car. The officer followed the vehicle and checked Mr Ben Arfa's speed as 110.2mph over the distance of just over nine-tenths of a mile. It turned out that Ben Arfa was not insured to drive this vehicle."

Meanwhile, defending barrister Michelle Brown said that her client could only apologise for the offenses, which she described as a "misinterpretation".

She said he believed his insurance was covered by a green card, which covers drivers in a foreign country for six months.

"He was operating under the misinterpretation that his green card insurance covered him for use of his motor vehicle on this particular instance," she said. "This is a young man who has got it wrong on this occasion, but has done everything he can to put right that error, that misunderstanding."

Speaking prior to the sentencing, magistrate Yvonne Steane said: "We feel that the speeding is so serious that you will be disqualified from driving for 49 days."

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