Football icon David Beckham escapes speeding prosecution on technicality

Beckham (above) was clocked driving at 59 miles per hour (94kmh) in a 40mph zone.
Beckham (above) was clocked driving at 59 miles per hour (94kmh) in a 40mph zone.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - David Beckham escaped prosecution over a speeding charge on Thursday (Sept 27) after the football icon's lawyer, nicknamed "Mr Loophole", successfully raised a technicality.

The former England captain was clocked driving a hired Bentley at 59 miles per hour (94kmh) in a 40 mph zone in London on Jan 23.

The Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) should have arrived at the Bentley office it was registered to by Feb 6 - the statutory 14-day window.

But district judge Barbara Barnes told Wimbledon Magistrates Court in London that although it was sent on Feb 2, it did not arrive until Feb 7 - one day outside the window.

"I'm satisfied that the NIP was indeed sent within the 14 days to allow for it to be delivered within the 14 days," she said.

"I find that on the balance of probabilities it's more likely than not this NIP was actually not served on the registered keeper of the vehicle within the 14 days as required.

"What I find is the fact it did not arrive in the post room of Bentley Motors Ltd until Feb 7 and therefore was one day outside the legal limit.

"The defendant in this case cannot be convicted."

Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, dubbed "Mr Loophole", has successfully defended a string of British sports stars and celebrities charged with motoring offences.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder Beckham, 43, was not in court for the proceedings.