Premier League star Mamadou Sakho was caught out by police while texting his wife from the wheel of his £250,000 Rolls-Royce.
The Crystal Palace centre-back, 30, was seen by a passing officer holding his phone next to the steering wheel while driving through Tooting.
When stopped, Sakho said he was texting his wife Majda who was in hospital at the time, on February 28.
The French international was prosecuted over the incident this month, when he was handed £352 in fines and costs by Bromley magistrates’ court as well as six penalty points on his licence.
Pc Daniel Nevison told the court he was on foot patrol in Tooting Bec Road when he first spotted Sakho’s Rolls-Royce Cullinan and realised the driver was texting.
“I noticed that the driver was using a hand-held mobile device whilst driving,” he told the court. “The driver was using his mobile phone in height with the steering wheel, the phone was illuminated and the driver’s thumbs were interacting with the screen.”
Pc Nevison said he initially chased the car on foot but failed to catch up, eventually managing to pull over Sakho when he joined a colleague in a squad car.
“I stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver. I confirmed they weren’t making emergency contact to the 999 service,” he wrote in his statement. “I pointed out the offence where they confirmed the communication was texting his wife because she is in hospital.”
The officer also noted Sakho had access to a hands-free option for the mobile phone but was not using it.
The footballer did not respond when a fixed-penalty notice was sent to his Wimbledon mansion in March, sparking a prosecution under the Single Justice Procedure. A magistrate sitting in a closed-door session sentenced Sakho on August 5.
Paperwork obtained by the Evening Standard reveals the star did not enter a plea to the offence, and he was found guilty in his absence.
The driving incident came two months after Sakho’s family fell victim to a £500,000 burglary at their gated home. He and his designer wife were away with their three children at the time. It was the latest of a series of raids in the exclusive Wimbledon village area.
Sakho’s agent has been contacted for comment on the driving prosecution.