CAPE TOWN: A British journalist accused of harbouring a World Cup fan who entered the England team`s locker-room paid a fine for fiddling a hotel register, a court heard Saturday.
British tabloid newspaper journalist Simon Wright paid a nearly 100 dollar fine after pleading guilty to giving a false name to the five-star hotel register where he put up fan Pavlos Joseph to secure an exclusive interview.
The Sunday Tribune journalist pleaded guilty to breaching immigration law with two other charges, including fraud, removed from the court roll after the state and the defence reached an agreement.
"The negotiation between the defence and the state resulted in the payment of an admission of guilt fine of 750 rand which is on account of contravening the Immigration Act," prosecutor Billy Downer told the court.
After setting up a meeting with Joseph, Wright provided his passport and credit card details to the hotel but asked to be registered under a false name to secure his exclusive as the fan was being sought by the world`s media.
Joseph walked into the England team`s locker-room on June 18 and berated former captain David Beckham on the squad`s poor performance after a lacklustre draw with Algeria.
Wright initially faced three offences in a lengthy charge sheet that included defeating the ends of justice and fraud. The charge sheet was replaced with a three page watered-down version on Saturday with the immigration breach.
Joseph pleaded guilty last week and paid the same fine of nearly 100 dollars for entering the team`s locker room without authorisation.
BDST: 1903hrs, July 10, 2010