THE brakes may be on his football career on Wearside – but it was Danny Welbeck’s car which landed the Premier League star in court.
The England under-21 striker picked up a fine and penalty points for having two defective tyres on his Audi S3.
The 20-year-old, who Steve Bruce still wants to bring back to Sunderland after last season’s successful loan from Manchester United, had denied two offences of using a vehicle with insufficient tread.
He was due to stand trial at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
However, his solicitors Freeman and Co – famed for handling high profile clients – wrote to the court offering admissions a short time before the case was to be heard.
Prosecutor Debra Jones said police were called to a crash on the northbound carriageway of the A19, near Hawthorn Services, at 1.25am on September 27 – two days after Welbeck played in Sunderland’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool.
Pc Mark Sheppard was first on the scene and called for support from Pc Andrew Pittilla, a qualified vehicle examiner.
He found the front tyres on Welbeck’s car both had treads below the legal limit of 1.6mm.
Mrs Jones said: “When interviewed he said the car belonged to him.
“The officer asked him when he had last checked the tyres and he responded ‘to be honest I’ve never checked them’.
“He admitted in that interview the tyres were defective, and therefore pleads guilty.”
Welbeck, of Altrincham, Cheshire, did not attend the hearing or complete a form detailing his finances, leaving magistrates to assume he is paid an average income of £350 a week.
He was fined £135 for each charge, told the pay a £15 victim surcharge and court costs of £150.
His clean licence was endorsed with three points.
Welbeck’s case comes just over a week since fellow SAFC star Phil Bardsley lost his licence for six months and was fined £900 for motoring offences after the 25-year-old from East Rainton topped 12 penalty points.
In May, team-mate Titus Bramble was banned for 12 months for speeding.
The centre-back was also ordered to pay £2,480, after his case was heard at St Helens Magistrates’ Court.