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Leon McKenzie Jailed: Former Footballer 'In Good Spirits' As Six Month Term Begins

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The family of a footballer who was jailed earlier this week for sending bogus letters to the police in a bid to avoid a driving ban has said he is in good spirits and writing an autobiography.

Former Norwich City striker Leon McKenzie was jailed for six months on Tuesday after admitting sending the letters to Northamptonshire Police in an attempt to avoid speeding convictions.

McKenzie, 33, who retired from professional football in December, was also handed a 18-month driving ban at the hearing at Northampton Crown Court.

McKenzie, of Northampton, had blamed depression for being in a "bad place" during the time of the offences.

But on the footballer's Twitter page today, McKenzie's family thanked people for their support.

They said he was "keeping well and in good spirit" and had "started to write an autobiography".

In a statement released after he was sentenced, McKenzie, who had started a new career in music, said he had had various work and personal problems at the time of the offences and "couldn't always make sense of what was going on".

He went on: "Unfortunately at that time I fell deep into depression, which led me to try and take my life. Around that period I wasn't thinking straight, and got caught up with the wrong people around me. My behaviour towards certain things like these speeding offences were (sic) totally unacceptable and very naive of me to allow a third party to take my points for me.

"I allowed someone to take my points innocently, not knowing the seriousness of what was actually happening."

Father-of-four McKenzie was jailed on Tuesday after he admitted six charges of perverting the course of justice earlier this year.

He sent letters to Northamptonshire Police to avoid six speeding fines between February 2008 and December 2009. The letters, purporting to be from a fictional garage in London, claimed McKenzie's car was off the road.

In his statement, McKenzie said he wished he could turn the clock back but was told at the time of his arrest a year ago that if he answered all questions truthfully he would be given a caution and not charged - a decision that was reversed five months later.

In mitigation on Tuesday, Andrew McGee, defending, told Northampton Crown Court that the former striker, who started his career with Crystal Palace and had played for Northampton and Norwich, was known to be a person of good character who had, at the time of the offence, been suffering from depression and at the end of 2009 tried to commit suicide.

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