Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Judge criticises striker's appeal

Jermain Defoe
Defoe twice broke a 50mph speed limit on the M11

A crown court judge has dismissed Tottenham and England footballer Jermain Defoe's appeal against a driving ban, calling it "frivolous".

Defoe, 27, of Cuffley, Hertfordshire, appealed after being disqualified from driving in July.

Chelmsford Magistrates' Court had been told Defoe twice broke a 50mph speed limit on the M11 northbound in Chigwell, Essex, in 2008.

At magistrates' court his case was put by celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman.

At Chelmsford Crown Court Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC dismissed the appeal.

This appeal is a frivolous and vexatious piece of criminal litigation by the appellant and should never have been initiated
Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC

Defoe was convicted of speeding and failing to inform the authorities who was driving his Land Rover car on each occasion.

The vehicle was clocked driving at 65mph (105km/h) on 16 April and 81mph (130km/h) on 5 June.

Defoe was fined £1,500, disqualified from driving for six months, had 12 penalty points added to his licence and was ordered to pay £600 costs.

The footballer, represented by Mr Freeman, then appealed.

His defence claimed there was no evidence to prove he was driving and prosecutors had not proved paperwork was issued by a person authorised by the Chief Constable of Essex.

It was also argued that the court could not be sure Defoe had received speeding notices and the court could not be sure Defoe had not responded to the notices.

'Highly fanciful'

Judge Goldstaub said: "This appeal is a frivolous and vexatious piece of criminal litigation by the appellant and should never have been initiated.

"It is based on technical and legal points empty of substantial merit and bad in themselves."

Lawyer Nick Freeman
Defoe was represented by lawyer Nick Freeman, dubbed "Mr Loophole"

The judge said paperwork had been completed by agents authorised by the chief constable.

He said it was "inconceivable, or at best highly fanciful," to assume post addressed to Defoe had twice gone astray.

The judge said he was equally sure Defoe had not responded to the notices.

Judge Goldstaub, who sat with two magistrates to hear the appeal, said he was also sure Defoe had been the driver.

The judge ordered Defoe to pay prosecution appeal costs of £1,570.

He said: "We would lay long odds that Mr Freeman, solicitor for the appellant, and his counsel, are remunerated on a very much higher level."

The judge was told Defoe's driving ban began as soon as the appeal failed.

Defoe was not present in court to hear the judge's comments.



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SEE ALSO
Defoe loses appeal over speeding
06 Nov 09 |  England
Defoe disqualified for speeding
10 Jul 09 |  England

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