Retired football star Keith Gillespie has been fined £60 and handed three penalty points after he pleaded guilty to speeding.
The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland winger didn’t even know the case was listed at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court and only found out when he checked on the status of his trial where he is accused of breaching a non-molestation order.
A fixed speed camera on the Saintfield Road captured Gillespie speeding at 51mph in a 40mph limit zone on June 15 last year.
Solicitor Darren Duncan said the offence would have been processed as a postal fixed penalty but that 39-year-old Gillespie never received the notice as he had moved house.
Gillespie already had six points on his licence from two previous similar offences.
As well as the fine and points, Judge Mark Hamill also imposed a £15 offender levy.
Gillespie was also scheduled to go on trial for allegedly breaching a court-imposed non-molestation order on February 17 last year, but that was adjourned for the third time when the complainant, Gillespie’s former partner, did not attend court as a result of their son being ill.
A prosecuting lawyer said she had consulted with the lady and although the boy had been discharged from hospital on Wednesday, he was still not well enough for her to attend, although she added the complainant would attend any future listing.
With Gillespie sitting at the back of the public gallery, Mr Duncan said this was the first the retired footballer had heard of his son’s illness, adding that he could only take the information “at face value”.
Judge Hamill said that this was the third time the case had been adjourned and the second time as a result of their son being ill.
Relisting the case for January 26, the judge warned that he would not entertain any further adjournments and commented that not attending twice because of her son was “unlucky but a third time would be unbelievable”.
Last week Gillespie was before the same court charged with breaching a restraining order less than two weeks after it began.
Gillespie, 39, from Ballycrochan Avenue in Bangor, is charged with breaching a restraining order on June 24 last year by having contact with his ex-partner on High Street in the seaside town.