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David Beckham ‘shirked responsibility’ over speeding charge



Road safety groups have criticised David Beckham for “shirking his responsibility” as a role model after he avoided punishment for speeding.

The former England captain was accused of driving a Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone on the A40 in Paddington, London, on 23 January.

Despite accepting he was speeding, Beckham will not be punished because a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) was not received until one day after the 14-day limit.

On Thursday, a judge accepted the notice was late and that Beckham could not be convicted.

His lawyer, Nick Freeman, known as “Mr Loophole”, said Beckham was “very relieved with the verdict and very happy with his legal team”.

Road safety groups have come out to criticise the former football star.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said he hoped Beckham “recognises his responsibility as a role model and makes clear to all those who look up to him that speeding is not acceptable”.

Solicitor Nick Freeman, known as Mr Loophole, has defended a number of celebrities facing driving-related charges
‘Mr Loophole’ has defended a number of celebrities facing motoring charges

He added: “It is hugely disappointing to see a role model like David Beckham shirking his responsibility and getting off a speeding prosecution on a mere technicality.”

Mr Harris also said he should “count himself lucky” that nobody was hurt.

Claire Armstrong, of the Safe Speed Campaign, told The Sun: “This says if you have enough money you can lead a different life to everyone else.

“It also appears to show speeding is not seen as dangerous by courts.”

Beckham was not in court for Thursday’s hearing in London, but chose to share an angry selfie on Instagram as he got stuck in traffic elsewhere.

Beckham complained about traffic on the same day as the court session. Pic: David Beckham/Instagram
Beckham complained about traffic on the same day as the court hearing. Pic: David Beckham/Instagram

The speeding notice was sent on 2 February by first-class post and should have arrived at Bentley, the registered keeper of the loaned vehicle, no later than 6 February (14 days after the offence).

But, after hearing evidence from Metropolitan Police and Bentley, the judge said she was satisfied it did not arrive until 7 February.

Manchester-based lawyer Mr Freeman previously helped Beckham overturn an eight-month driving ban in 1999 – successfully arguing that the footballer was trying to escape a paparazzi photographer.

He trademarked the nickname “Mr Loophole” in 2008 after gaining fame for helping a host of A-list clients, including Sir Alex Ferguson and John Terry.

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