Stephen Hunt could not attend court over A14 speeding charge because he is ‘fully focused’ on Ipswich Town play-off push

Ipswich Town v Blackburn. Stephen Hunt in the box.

Ipswich Town v Blackburn. Stephen Hunt in the box. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Irish international Stephen Hunt was due in court yesterday accused of speeding at 90mph along the A14 in Newmarket.

But the Ipswich Town footballer is so “focused” on the club’s play-off preparations that he was unable to attend.

The 34-year-old wide-midfielder faced one charge of travelling 89mph in his Mercedes in a 70mph limit on the A14 near Newmarket.

In a letter from his solicitor, read out in Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court, the Irish international said he wished to accept a fixed penalty notice for the offence, but was unable to do so because it was sent to the wrong address.

It read: “The position is a little complicated. We would ask the court to accept the apologies of both the solicitor and our client for not being present.

“He is a professional footballer and is currently fully focused on the Football Championship play-off his team are currently in.”

The left-footed set piece specialist, who was on the bench for the Blues play-off home leg against arch-rivals Norwich City on Saturday, was allegedly caught speeding by a police camera on September 18 last year.

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In the letter from his Wallsall-based solicitors Partridge Allen, it was explained that a fixed penalty notice was sent by Suffolk Constabulary to his old address in Kesgrave.

The former Wolves and Reading player Hunt now lives in the West Midlands town of Sutton Coldfield.

The letter, read by Clerk to the Magistrates Nicola Flowitt, continued: “Since he did not receive the letter he could not reply to it. It was sent to him at his old address notifying him of the option of the fixed penalty.”

His solicitor pointed out that the court summons for Hunt was sent to his correct and current address, showing that the police were aware that he had moved.

The letter asked the magistrates to either allow Hunt to accept a fixed penalty notice or to treat the letter as a not-guilty plea by post.

The court was unable to give Hunt, whose brother Noel also plays for the Blues, a fixed penalty notice. As a result it treated the letter as a not guilty plea and adjourned until a later date.

Hunt, who is likely to feature in Ipswich Town’s 18 travelling to Norwich’s Carrow Road this Saturday, could face trial for the offence, with a date to be set at Bury Magistrates on June 8.

Fortunately for both Hunt and Town, this is after both the Norwich game and a potential Wembley final on May 25, leaving the player free to focus on Town’s Premier League push.

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