David Beckham has been accused of “shirking his responsibility” as a role model after avoiding a speeding charge on a technicality.
The former England captain used the help of a celebrity lawyer who has previously been dubbed “Mr Loophole”, at his court case on Thursday.
David had been accused of driving a loaned Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone in west London in January.
Despite accepting that he was driving the car at that speed, he won’t face action because he hadn’t received a “notice of intended prosecution” until one day after the 14-day time limit.
After the trial at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court, Nick Freeman, the football star’s lawyer said that David was “very relieved with the verdict and very happy with his legal team”.
However Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for the road safety charity Brake, said they hope David recognises his responsibility as a role model, and “makes clear to all those who look up to him that speeding is not acceptable”.
Joshua also described David’s avoidance of the charge as “hugely disappointing” and the defence as a “mere technicality”.
“At the speed Mr Beckham was reported to be travelling, his stopping distance would be double that of someone driving within the limit – he should count himself very lucky that no incident occurred and tragedy was avoided,” Joshua continued.
Nick Freeman previously helped David overturn an eight-month driving ban in 1999 after successfully arguing that the 43-year-old footballer was trying to escape a paparazzi photographer.
The lawyer, who trademarked the nickname “Mr Loophole” in 2008, gained fame after helping a host of A-list clients hold on to their driving licences.
UPDATE: This article has been amended after publication to remove a quote by a speed campaigner, which was reported by Press Association, but which she has since said was misquoted.