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Last Updated: Friday, 24 August 2007, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Speeding striker jailed for lying
Speeding camera still of Vincent Pericard driving his Mercedes
Vincent Pericard was identified from the speeding camera photo
A Stoke City footballer who claimed his stepfather was at the wheel when he was clocked doing 103mph in his Mercedes has been jailed for four months.

Vincent Pericard, 24, admitted, at Plymouth Crown Court, to perverting the course of justice.

The former Juventus and Portsmouth striker was caught on the A38 near Plymouth last March.

The Cameroon-born player was charged after his stepfather Jack told police he had not been in the UK since 2003.

Officers had tracked his stepfather down after letters were sent to him at an address in France.

'Serious consequences'

Pericard, who has twice been disqualified from driving for previous speeding offences, was sent further letters, to which he did not reply.

Eventually one said the picture of him speeding was taken from in front of the car and revealed the driver.

Vincent Pericard
Vincent Pericard was on loan at Plymouth Argyle at the time

In December, he sent a statement to police saying he had made a mistake and apologised for any inconvenience, but was later arrested.

The court heard Pericard earned 190,000 a year and could afford a significant fine.

But Judge Francis Gilbert said speed cameras would be a "waste of time" if there were not serious consequences for this type of offence.

"You were looking to escape - it was a deliberate plan of dishonesty," he told Pericard.

"I regard doing an act intending to pervert the course of public justice as serious.

"You cannot buy yourself out of the consequences."

'Small minority'

Pericard, of Oyster Road, Portsmouth, joined Stoke City on a free transfer at the end of the 2005-06 season.

The court heard he had been speeding while travelling from his Portsmouth home to a training session in Plymouth where he was playing for Plymouth Argyle on loan.

After the hearing, Pc Duncan Russell said: "There is a small minority of people who think they are above the law and that they can lie their way out of a speeding fine.

"In this case the defendant was driving at 103mph and deliberately lied to avoid the consequences.

"The sentence today reinforces that the court will not tolerate this behaviour."

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis said the club would stand by Pericard, adding: "We can't condone what he has done but he is not a nasty or bad person.

"He has been very naive and made a mistake, which we have all done at some point.

"Everyone associated with the football club is disappointed with what has happened, but we will all be standing right behind him."


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