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Newcastle United player avoids jail over fake licence

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.

Newcastle United's Cheick Tiote earlier admitted possessing a fake driving licence. Credit: PA Wire

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.