ASAMOAH FINED FOR INSURANCE MISUNDERSTANDING
Striker fined for insurance 'error'
Northampton Chronicle, 17 February 2005
FORMER Northampton Town striker Derek Asamoah has become the latest football star to be convicted of motoring offences in the county, after he was caught driving a gold BMW without insurance.
The 23-year-old Ghanaian was fined and given eight points on his licence by magistrates for driving without insurance.
Asamoah, of Cotton End, Northampton, failed to appear at Northampton Magistrates' Court yesterday to answer the charges he faced.
He had been summonsed to appear in court for failure to produce car insurance documents, but was convicted in his absence.
A spokesman for Mansfield Town, the club for which Asamoah now plays, said: "As far as the club is concerned, it was a misunderstanding and a genuine mistake.
"Derek and the club want to put the incident behind them and concentrate on football for the rest of the season."
Magistrates heard that Asamoah, who became a fans' favourite during his three years at Northampton Town FC, was driving along The Drapery in Northampton on the night of August 13, in a gold-coloured BMW car, when he was stopped by police.
An officer checked a headlight was working and asked to see the player's driving licence, insurance and MOT certificate. But Asamoah was unable to provide the correct documentation.
He was told to report to Campbell Square Police Station within a week, but when he took in his licence and MOT certificate, Asamoah could still not provide evidence he was insured.
Robert Pettitt, prosecuting, told magistrates that Asamoah brought two insurance certificates with him, but neither was for the vehicle he was stopped in.
Asamoah then told police he believed he was covered on his father's insurance policy.
Magistrates found the case proved and ordered Asamoah to pay a £130 fine, plus £35 in court costs, and endorsed his driving licence with eight points.
A further charge of failing to produce an insurance certificate was withdrawn.
Asamoah started 33 games for Northampton Town between July 2001 and July 2004, scoring 12 goals.
He moved to Nottinghamshire club Mansfield Town on a free transfer, but still lives in Northampton.
Other footballers who have been convicted of motoring offences in Northamptonshire include former England midfielder Paul Merson, who was banned for two months in July 1999 when he was caught travelling at 97mph on the M1 motorway near Rothersthorpe.
Stoke City striker Ade Akinbiyi asked magistrates in April 2002 to give him a month to pay a £500 speeding fine, despite earning £10,000 a week at the time, while playing for Crystal Palace.
He escaped a driving ban after being spotted driving at 103mph on the M1 near Courteenhall.
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