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Monday, 4 February, 2002, 20:44 GMT
Dwight Yorke escapes speeding ban
Dwight Yorke
The player joined Manchester United in 1998
Manchester United player, Dwight Yorke, has been cleared of speeding on a technicality.

The sidelined striker was accused of driving his Mercedes CL500 at 85mph in a 70mph zone.

Police measured his speed on the A34 in Wilmslow, Cheshire, last March with a handheld laser gun.

His solicitor Nick Freeman told Macclesfield Magistrates that although the speed gun was Home Office approved, there was no evidence police had followed some conditions of approval.

'Proscribed device'

Mr Freeman said: "I argued that whilst the Crown proved the device had Home Office approval, there was no evidence that the conditions of approval had been complied with.

"It is a technicality of the law. A measurement made by a proscribed device is not admissible unless any conditions subject to which approval is given are followed."

Mr Freeman did not specify the exact conditions which the police were unable to prove they followed.

Mr Yorke was not present at court for the verdict but Mr Freeman said: "I am sure he will be very pleased."

Succesful defences

A spokeswoman for Cheshire Police declined to comment on the verdict.

Mr Freeman has successfully defended Yorke's Manchester United team mate, David Beckham, for allegedly speeding on the same stretch of road, arguing the England captain was trying to evade photographers.

He also represented Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson when he escaped a conviction for driving along a motorway hard shoulder during a traffic jam.

He claiming an upset stomach had made Mr Ferguson desperate to use the toilet.

Mr Yorke, who signed for Manchester United from Aston Villa in 1998, is currently out of favour at Old Trafford and recently turned down a move to Middlesbrough.

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