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David Beckham avoids speeding prosecution after lawyer ‘Mr Loophole’ finds technicality

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David Beckham will not be prosecuted over a speeding charge after his lawyer, known as “Mr Loophole”, successfully fought the allegation on a technicality.

Former England captain Beckham was accused of driving his Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone on the A40 in Paddington, London, shortly after 5.30pm on 23 January.

Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman initially had a setback when a judge dismissed his submission seeking to dismiss the charge.

Mr Freeman, who entered a not-guilty plea, said a lack of admissible evidence meant Beckham had no case to answer.

District Judge Barbara Barnes told him a tribunal could reasonably convict the former England footballer on the evidence and ruled there was a case to answer.

However, Mr Freeman also stated that the notice of intended prosecution arrived one day outside the 14-day limit and was therefore “defective”.

David Beckham
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Beckham hired Mr Freeman to represent him over a speeding charge – and it turned out to be a good move
Beckham complained about traffic on the same day as the court session. Pic: David Beckham/Instagram
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Beckham complained about traffic on the same day as the court session. Pic: David Beckham/Instagram

In his submission he told the court: “If the Crown can’t prove that the letter was sent by first-class post then the concept that it arrives in two working days goes out of the window.

“It would be unsafe to allow these proceedings to go any further.”

The judge told the court that the notice of intended prosecution (NIP) was sent on 2 February and should have arrived at Bentley Motors Ltd, the registered keepers of the vehicle, by 6 February.

But she said she was satisfied on the evidence heard that it did not in fact arrive until the day after the statutory 14-day window.

She said: “What I find is the fact it did not arrive in the post room of Bentley Motors Ltd until 7 February and therefore was one day outside the legal limit.

“The defendant in this case cannot be convicted.”

:: Who is the lawyer who is often the “go-to” man for celebrities accused of driving offences?

Andrew Flintoff (R) arrives with Nick Freeman at Liverpool Magistrates' Court in 2008
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Mr Freeman often picks up on technical errors such as spelling mistakes

Mr Freeman, who has trademarked the name “Mr Loophole”, has worked with many other footballers, including Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry.

He revealed his methods in his book The Art Of The Loophole, where he said he never meets a client before a case because he does not want to be compromised by any detail they might reveal.

His first big name client was then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 1999. He also represented Beckham over another charge the same year.

Mr Freeman argued that Sir Alex had to use the hard shoulder to get to the training ground to allow for his upset stomach and need for a toilet.

Sir Alex Ferguson
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Mr Freeman argued that Sir Alex Ferguson really needed to use the hard shoulder

Other reasons the lawyer has given include stars being forced to break the speed limits to escape chasing paparazzi and needing to keep their licences because of family commitments.

He is also known for his in-depth knowledge of motoring law and has helped clients avoid prosecution or charges based on technical errors such as spelling mistakes.

Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes escaped a prosecution for an offence due to Mr Freeman pointing out there were spelling errors on the letter summoning him to court and letters were sent out to a “Mr Ran Flenns”.

Former cricketer Andrew Flintoff was caught on camera in 2008 doing 87mph in a temporary 50mph zone but Mr Freeman pointed out that the prosecution notice was sent two days later than the law allows.

Flintoff only had to turn up at court to confirm his name, age and address and was then let off.

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