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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Footballer escapes speeding charge
Darren Ferguson, Wrexham FC midfielder
Darren Ferguson faced two speeding claims in a week
The footballing son of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has escaped a possible driving ban after a 100mph speeding charge was dropped by Wrexham magistrates.

The solicitor representing Wrexham midfielder Darren Ferguson exploited a legal loophole which left the police unable to prove the player had been driving the car.

It was the second speeding charge faced by the player in a week.

Mr Ferguson was first accused of driving in Mosside, Manchester, at 43mph in a 30mph limit after his Mercedes was caught on a speed camera.

The prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the identification of my client

Nick Freeman, solicitor

But he was eventually cleared after an investigation showed his wife had been driving the car.

The player had at first admitted the offence on a form sent out in the post but later realised his wife had been at the wheel.

Mr Ferguson was back at Wrexham magistrates court on Tuesday.

Police claimed they had stopped Ferguson in a different car, a BMW, driving at nearly 100mph on a dual carriageway.

But District Judge Ward was told that no identification had been shown at the time and the Crown Prosecution Service had failed to prove the driver was Ferguson, who scored in a 3-2 defeat by Chesterfield on Tuesday night.

'Client's credibility'

An officer admitted in court that he could not be sure of the identity of the driver and the case was thrown out.

Solicitor Nick Freeman representing Mr Ferguson, said: "In the first case it was about my client's credibility and in the second the prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the identification of my client."

Mr Freeman, from Manchester-based Freeman and Co, exposed the same loophole when he represented former Manchester City striker Ashley Ward in July this year.

The footballer did not attend Manchester magistrates court and Mr Freeman successfully argued that police could not prove he had been the driver of his Aston Martin when it was recorded at 110mph on the M56.

See also:

23 Nov 00 | Wales
Rugby star caught speeding
27 Jul 00 | Scotland
Pundit loses speeding case
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