Beds, Herts & Bucks

Etienne Capoue: Watford footballer fined over M25 speeding

Etienne Capoue Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Etienne Capoue was clocked driving at 116mph on a 70mph stretch of the M25 in December

A Premier League footballer has been disqualified from driving for three months after he was clocked at 116mph on the M25.

Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue, 30, was captured on dashcam undertaking a police vehicle between junctions 22 and 20 in Hertfordshire on 30 December.

He failed to attend the hearing in Stevenage, blaming preparation for an away match at Huddersfield on Saturday.

He was fined £1,666 plus costs in his absence by magistrates.

Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire road policing unit clocked his black Mercedes G Wagon travelling for 2.2 miles (3.5km) at 116mph in a 70mph stretch.

Image copyright BCH Road Policing
Image caption A still from BCH Road Policing captures Capoue's Mercedes on the M25

Magistrates heard the French international, who lives in Barnet, had a previous conviction for driving at 53mph in a 30mph zone in 2017, for which he was fined £1,000 and banned for 28 days.

Thursday's hearing was halted briefly while Capoue's solicitor, Kwaku Awuku-Asabre, called his client to find out his weekly earnings so that an affordable fine could be set.

Mr Awuku-Asabre could only reveal that the weekly wage was "in excess of the maximum £2,500 fine" that could be given.

It is estimated the midfielder earns about £25,000 a week.

'Not very pleased'

Mr Awuku-Asabre said Watford "ran a strict training regime" where players had to train two days before a match to be selected.

He said that on the day of the offence, Capoue had been running late because one of his children had been ill in the night.

Presiding magistrate Corinna Murray said she was "not very pleased" Capoue had not attended the hearing.

"He was summoned; it is not a choice. Other people manage to take time off work," she said.

Imposing the ban, she said: "This family is in a position where they can afford a driver."

Capoue was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £166.

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