Leadbitter: I thought police were angry fans

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Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter, explaining to a court why he was caught speeding, said he thought the police patrol car following him was in fact a car full of Newcastle United fans chasing him for a fight.

"My heart was beating fast, I was scared and I wanted to get home as quickly as possible," The Guardian newspaper quoted the Premier League player as telling the court when describing why he had accelerated to 112 mph.

He was on his way back from a night out, which had ended with an altercation with a group of fans from his club's bitter rivals Newcastle and he thought they were pursuing him.

He was fined 515 pounds and banned from driving for 14 days.