Stay away from your car, but all the best for South Africa
Spurs striker Jermain Defoe was disqualified from driving for six months by a judge who went on to wish him luck in earning a place in England’s World Cup squad.
Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC: “We hope he gets to South Africa. But he must not drive in the UK.”
Defoe was also ordered to pay £1,570 in legal costs for what the judge described as a “frivolous” appeal against his earlier conviction for twice breaking a 50mph speed limit on the M11 northbound in Chigwell, Essex, in 2008.
The England international drafted in celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman to argue there was no evidence to prove he was driving; prosecutors had not proved paperwork was issued by a person authorised by the chief constable of Essex; 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.
But the judge dismissed the claims and accused Defoe of playing the “litigation game”.
He added: “We don’t know why the appellant ran these sad and ill-conceived technical points.
“He must have been fully aware that, in reality, he was the driver and he had broken the speed limits.
“We think he chose to give the prosecution a run for the money regardless, simply because he could afford to play the litigation game. We regret this. His lawyers will have advised him it is a game of dubious validity.
“We regret this appeal, which has taken up a day’s court time when people waiting in custody for trials on serious charges should have been brought.”