Former Newcastle United defender Sylvain Distin has been fined Â£2,000 for failing to attend the assault trial of former team-mate Joey Barton.
Distin while on loan at Newcastle during the 2001-2002 season
The Frenchman had been warned he could have faced a jail term if his absence had led to a delay in court proceedings.
But since Barton pleaded guilty at the last moment, to avoid jail time, the trail was aborted and as it turned out Distin was not needed.
Distin, who is now 30 years old, ignored a summons to appear in court and had the cheek to leave for Crete, for a holiday with his family just days before the hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on June 30th.
Do you think these footballers live in the real world?
The Portsmouth defender was to be a witness for the prosecution at the trial related to the training ground altercation at Manchester City last May 1st, in which Barton violently attacked fellow Frenchman Ousmane Dabo.
Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told Distin his non-appearance would have halted the case if Barton had not changed his plea to guilty, and a custodial sentence on Distin could have then been served.
But he was fined just Â£2,000, hardly a massive financial impact to a player who must be on around Â£60,000 a week at Pompey.
Distin played 28 games for Newcastle United, while on loan from PSG, but then refused to sign a four year deal at the club, offered to him by our manager at that time, the great Bobby Robson.
Instead Manchester City came in and offered him a better wage deal and he was off to City, and a certain manager there, called Kevin Keegan.
If we had persuaded Sylvain to stay with us, it seems unlikely our defense would have been so maligned over the last several years, since Distin was very solid at the heart of the Eastland cub’s defense.
The 6’4″ Distin moved last summer to Portsmouth, as a free agent, after serving out his 5 year contract at Eastlands.