A Premier League footballer has avoided jail after he admitted possessing a fake driving licence.
Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote was handed a seven-month suspended sentence after he admitted buying a fake Belgian licence for 15,000 euros (£12,800) before trying to swap the forgery for a full UK licence.
Suspending the imprisonment for 18 months, Judge James Goss QC told Tiote that he would have to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.
The Judge said the footballer's guilty plea had saved him from an immediate prison sentence.
Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote has been convicted of possessing a forged driving licence.
Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court earlier today, the 27-year-old admitted having a fake Belgian licence after an incident in December.
The Ivory Coast international, who captained Newcastle against Sunderland yesterday, is due to be sentenced this afternoon.
A Premier League star will contest charges that he used a false Belgian driving licence, and four other motoring offences, a court heard today.
Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote, 27, is accused of using a false document as a form of ID "to establish personal information" about himself in December.
The Ivory Coast international is also charged with committing fraud by using the allegedly false document to get a UK licence, also in December.
In addition, he is accused of making a false statement to obtain insurance in September 2011 by allegedly claiming that he held a full driving licence without endorsements.
He is further charged with driving his Chevrolet, with the personalised plate T10 TEV, in Newcastle in February without a licence or insurance.
The Newcastle United midfielder Cheick Tiote has appeared in court charged with using a false Belgian driving licence and four other offences.
The Ivory Coast star, who turned 27 today, is accused of using the allegedly false document as a form of ID "to establish personal information" about himself in December.
Among the other charges he faces is committing fraud by using the allegedly false document to get a UK licence and driving his car without a licence or insurance.
No pleas were entered.
Mr Tiote was granted unconditional bail and will appear at Newcastle Crown Court in July.