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Portsmouth's Distin fined for court non-attendance

The Frenchman was warned he could have faced a jail term if his absence had led to a delay in court proceedings.

Distin, 30, ignored a hand-delivered summons to appear in court and flew to Crete for a holiday with his family days before the hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on June 30.

Appearing in the witness box, Distin told the judge he did not understand what a summons was because he had never been arrested or appeared before a court.

Judge Khokhar said, "In my mind there is no doubt Sylvain Distin did know that he had to attend.

"He chose not to cancel this holiday knowing full well he had a duty to attend.

"When somebody fails to attend that is treated very seriously indeed.

"Normally a short custodial sentence follows but I am not going to do that. At the end of the day the case resolved itself without the necessity for Mr Distin to attend.

"That is not to say the court does not express its displeasure at this conduct."

Addressing Distin, he added: "I hope there is something you have learned about the obligations to this court."

Distin was also ordered to pay £982.95 prosecution costs and told to pay his fine within 14 days or face 30 days' imprisonment.

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