FORMER Liverpool football player Stephen Harkness has been given a suspended jail sentence after being caught driving while disqualified on the St Helens Linkway.

Harkness, 48, who played for Liverpool from 1989 to 1999, was pulled over while driving an Audi car by a police patrol car on the St Helens Linkway on Monday, September 16.

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Checks had shown that the car was insured for a female driver only, yet Harkness was the only one in the car.

Officers suspected he shouldn’t have been driving and further checks showed that he was disqualified.

At the scene Harkness admitted he was banned from driving but made no further comment in interview.

Today (September 17) at Liverpool Magistrates' Court, Harkness pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance.

He was given a nine-week jailed term, which was suspended for two years.

Harkness has been further disqualified from driving for three years, must do 100 hours of unpaid work in the community, and has had his licence endorsed.

Andrew Page from Mersey Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, who prosecuted the case today, said: “Events like this and other recent high profile cases involving current and retired sportsmen underlines the fact that nobody is above the law, and that driving while disqualified is a matter which the Courts take very seriously.

“Mr Harkness was told in no uncertain terms what the consequences would be if he were to offend again during the period of his community order or drive again during the period of his disqualification. He faces a real possibility of jail if he does this again.”

Harkness made 140 appearances for Liverpool FC between 1989 and 1999, scoring three goals, before spells with Benfica and Sheffield Wednesday.