David Beckham has been banned from driving for six months.
The retired football legend admitted to using his phone behind the wheel after he was spotted by a member of the public while he was driving in Great Portland Street on November 21, and he was sentenced during a brief hearing on Thursday afternoon.
Beckham, 43, was handed a six month ban and a £750 (about R14 000) fine by magistrates at Bromley Magistrates Court, along with six points on his licence.
The star’s case was considered at the same court in April through a single justice procedure – an administrative process not open to the public or press – which was introduced in England and Wales three years ago to free up court time by letting magistrates quickly deal with low-level offences which didn’t warrant a prison sentence.
However, last month’s hearing was adjourned until this afternoon “to show cause”, with today’s hearing held in open court.
Speaking after the initial hearing, a member of court staff said: “The magistrates requested more information – either the circumstances in which it happened or they think they don’t have enough information about the charge to make an informed decision.”
Scotland Yard previously confirmed Beckham – who appeared in court on Thursday for his sentencing – had pleaded guilty by post.
In an earlier statement, the Met Police said: “An allegation was made by a member of the public to the Met that on November 21, 2018, they saw a 43-year-old man on his mobile phone while driving his car in the area of Great Portland Street, W1.
“The 43-year-old man has been sent a notice of intended prosecution.”
Meanwhile, two months before he was reported for this offence, Beckham – who played for the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy throughout his career – avoided prosecution on a speeding charge because of a technicality.
Although the star had accepted he drove a loaned Bentley at a speed of 59mph in a 40mph zone in January 2018, he didn’t face further action because the notice of intended prosecution wasn’t received until one day after the statutory 14-day limit.
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