Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been fined £800 and banned from driving for 28 days after being caught speeding at 109mph on the M62 motorway.
The Italian (pictured above at training on Thursday) was pulled over just after midnight on 3 December last year at Tarbock, near Liverpool, driving his £240,000 left-hand drive Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.
The 24-year-old was due at Wirral magistrates court on Friday, having been convicted in his absence last week, but did not appear, with his solicitor Mike Hogan telling magistrates he had not received the summons, according to the Wirral Globe, as he had been having issues with his mail because of a move to a new home in Formby.
The first Balotelli knew of the date was when he received an adjournment notice, Mr Hogan said.
The court heard that the Ferrari's speedometer is in kilometres per hour and the striker had not been aware how "very quickly the speed crept up" - 109mph is approximately 176kph.
Along with the £800 fine and ban, the striker, reported to be on £110,000-a-week, was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £100 court costs; Mr Hogan asked the court for 28 days for payment to be made.
Balotelli was said to have been co-operative with police and would have entered a guilty plea had he known about the first date.
"It wasn't a case of him simply ignoring an important document sent by the court," Mr Hogan said.
"Had he received the summons in the first place he would have pleaded guilty on his first appearance. Mr Balotelli has asked me to apologise.
"The police officers pulled him over just after midnight. He may have been in a rush to get home and very quickly the speed crept up. There's no suggestion that he makes a habit of doing this."
In January, it was reported that the Italian international, with no previous convictions in the UK, was being chased by Italian authorities over £8,000 worth of unpaid speeding fines.
Mr Hogan added: "Mr Balotelli will have to take this on the chin but he does have a clean record.
"Any disqualification, whether he was a footballer or not, would cause an inconvenience.
"He is in a fortunate or unfortunate position of being something of a celebrity. The loss of his ability to drive would have an impact on his privacy."
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