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Community service and fine for Tevez

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Carlos Tevez has managed to escape a jail sentence after being convicted of driving while banned. Instead Manchester City's Argentinian striker was banned for six months and given 250 hours of community service by Macclesfield magistrates. He was also fined £1,145, or about ten minutes' wages.

A prison sentence was a real possibility given the seriousness with which magistrates usually regard driving while banned. Tevez's defence touched on the issue of his limited grasp of English. His lawyers suggested that Tevez had not realised that “constabulary” meant police on official letters.

Elizabeth Depares, the chairwoman of the magistrates, told Tevez that he was a role model for thousands, if not millions of football fans. “Nobody is above the law and you should not have been driving,” she said, The probation officer reported that Tevez "would welcome the opportunity to put something back into the community.”

Tevez's solicitor Gwyn Lewis, Tevez's solicitor, told the court: "Mr Tevez has a full understanding of the seriousness of the offence. The whole experience from being arrested to being in the police station is all completely alien to him and very frightening."

The community service order could still prove a complication for the player. After settling most of his differences with City and manager Roberto Mancini, Tevez is pondering a one year extension to his contract. If he decides on a move, the transfer could be delayed or obstructed by Tevez's community service responsibilities.

The nature of them has not yet been specified. When Manchester United legend Eric Cantona was sentenced to community service for assaulting a fan (after appealing against an initial sentence of jail time) he coached local Salford school children. Former City player Joey Barton faced a more humiliating punishment after being convicted of assaulting a team-mate. He had to pick up litter on the highway.

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