A footballer who arranged to "lose" speeding tickets for high profile players including Teddy Sheringham has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Shaun Newton, 33, of South View, Epsom, was today found guilty of nine counts of attempting to prevent the course of justice.

Croydon Crown Court was told that Newton - who denied all charges - took money from fellow players in return for "losing" the notices of prosecution sent to them for speed limit offences up and down the country.

Among them was former England striker Mr Sheringham, who told the court Newton had offered to take the fine off the now-retired player's hands for £250.

Mr Sheringham told the court he had received the ticket for exceeding a 40mph limit in September 2005 while driving his black Bentley Continental on the way to a match.

He said: "I remember moaning about getting the ticket, and Shaun Newton said: 'Give it to me and I'll get rid of it for you'.

"I said: 'What do you mean?' And he said: 'I'll deal with it. Give me £250 and I will sort it out'."

Mr Sheringham added: "I gave him the form and the money and that was the end of it. I didn't complete any part of the notice. I didn't know what he was going to do with it."

The court was told Mr Sheringham was arrested on May 15 last year and he admitted an allegation of attempting to pervert the course of justice and was given a caution by police.

During cross examination he admitted that Newton might have said that "someone" would deal with the ticket.

The court had heard earlier how investigating officer Adrian Buckingham had found tickets sent to Newton relating to speeding offences were returned, with notices giving the names of other people as the drivers at the time - and most had an address in Crownhill Road, Brent.

New tickets were sent out to these names but there was no response to any of them.

The court also heard from footballer Robert "Bobby" Zamora who had been given a ticket for speeding on the A13 in Essex in March last year.

He told the court he had asked Newton if he could look into it and was told to give the ticket and £200 to another player and it would be delivered to Newton's Epsom home.

The court heard that like Mr Sheringham he was charged with perverting the course of justice and given a caution.

Newton also returned his own tickets, claiming the car was being driven by other people, the jury heard.

Judge Simon Pratt told Newton: "For 18 months you were involved in a cynical scam to bypass the speeding ticket procedure."

Newton was given a 28-week sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid community service.

He was disqualified from driving for a year and will have to pay £1,939 prosecution costs.