Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi who was caught speeding at 90mph in his £140,000 Mercedes has avoided jail.
The 20-year-old was pulled over by police in August last year on the A3 in Merton, south London, on his way to training.
Hudson-Odoi admitted speeding and claimed he was running late because of a road closure and was trying to make up for lost time.
He was not disqualified from driving but was warned he now has nine points on his licence – which means any more driving offences could see him automatically banned for six months.
The England international arrived at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court in south London this morning wearing a black hoodie and jeans with an entourage of men.
The case nearly took place in his absence after he was late walking into the building.
A court clerk said he had “seen the cameras and turned tail”.
She added: “He wanted to come in another way but we don’t have another way in.”
Chair of the bench Gilles Casse said: “We can deal with this in his absence. It’s in his own interest for him to attend.
“I have no idea who this person is but he’s obviously of some note or there wouldn’t be cameras or press involved.
“This is a court and he will be treated like anyone else with this offence so he should be here. If he decides that he refuses then we will deal with him in his absence but we will take that into account because it is essentially sticking two fingers up at the court.”
Oliver Glasgow QC, defending, said: “I apologise for the discourtesy to the court. He should have come straight through the door like anyone else.”
Hudson-Odoi walked into the courtroom shortly afterwards.
Prosecutor Alison Larkin said the footballer was pulled over by police at 9.47am on August 6 last year after being clocked speeding at 90mph in a 50mph zone.
He has a previous conviction for speeding from July 2019 which led to three points being endorsed on his licence.
Mr Glasgow said his client had sent a letter to the court explaining ‘considerable pressure and personal problems’ in his life at the time.
He said: “He was expected to arrive at training at a certain time, he feared he would not – so he increased his speed.
“That in no way excuses the speed at which he drove. He readily appreciates that to drive at that speed in that speed limit was totally unacceptable.
“Personal circumstances in his life at the time and particularly the pressures of work led him to take a very silly decision in attempting to get to work on time. What he should have done is contact work, explain the anticipated delay and hope that it would not reflect on him.
“What he chose to do was attempt to get to work on time and in doing so drove his car far too fast.
“The defendant recognises the position in which he has put himself. He recognises this court will punish him appropriately.
“All he can say was it was an extremely stupid decision, not born of a careless disregard of users of the road. At the time he was stopped there were no other cars on the road near him.
“This is not to suggest, despite the time the driving took place, he was driving recklessly and dangerously at a time with other road users on the road. It was an empty road.
“All he simply wants to do is repeat his true sense of shame at the speed he drove, there is no proper excuse or justification.”
The barrister repeated an apology to the court for Hudson-Odoi’s lateness.
He said: “He felt uncomfortable and felt there was nowhere to go.”
Hudson-Odoi, of Wandsworth, south London, was fined a total of £834 and handed six penalty points.
Mr Casse said: “We are going to endorse your licence with six points, which means you now have a total of nine points on your driving licence.
“The reason I want you to pay particular attention to that is because in effect that means you are one offence away from becoming a ‘totter’ which means once you get 12 points on your licence you are automatically disqualified for a minimum of six months.
“Any driving offence committed in the next probably two to three years will mean you will be disqualified.
“You need to bear that in mind in the future. With regard to the speeding offence itself it’s better to be late than not arrive at all.
“You know very well speeding is a contributory factor to accidents. If you were to have injured yourself or anyone else the likelihood is being late would have been the least of your worries.
“So put this into perspective, please bear in mind what I have said about the nine points.”