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Frank Lampard AVOIDS prosecution despite being caught driving with mobile phone and coffee

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England legend Frank Lampard was caught on video driving his £250,000 Mercedes G wagon with a coffee in one hand and a mobile phone in the other – but has escaped prosecution because the CPS say there is ‘insufficient evidence’. 

The former Chelsea star, 43, was charged with ‘using a handheld mobile phone/device while driving a motor vehicle on a road’ and was due in court today.

He had been caught on camera by vigilante cyclist Mike van Erp, 49, who captured the footage in South Kensington last year.

Lampard – who is married to Christine Bleakley – had denied the offence and hired Nick Freeman, a lawyer known as ‘Mr Loophole’, to defend him in court.

And on Friday the Crown Prosecution Service suddenly stopped its prosecution, despite the video clearly showing him holding both items in his car. 

The footage shows Lampard with a  cup of takeaway coffee in his right hand and a mobile phone in his left one

The footage shows Lampard with a  cup of takeaway coffee in his right hand and a mobile phone in his left one

Frank Lampard was caught on video driving his £250,000 Mercedes G wagon in Kensington and car was stationary at time

Frank Lampard was caught on video driving his £250,000 Mercedes G wagon in Kensington and car was stationary at time

Lampard pleaded not guilty and CPS dropped case due to'insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction'

Lampard pleaded not guilty and CPS dropped case due to ‘insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction’

Phones in cars: What is the law on mobile use?

The law states you can only use a hand-held device behind the wheel if the car is safely parked.

Crucially, this does not include if you are waiting at traffic lights or in a queue.

The only exception is for emergency calls when it is not safe to stop.

Punishment is six penalty points and a £200 fine, or if a driver has passed less than two weeks earlier they can even lose their licence. 

The case was deemed set to fail because it could not prove he was using the mobile phone for interactive communications.

Footage, taken on a GoPro mounted on Mr van Erp’s head, shows the valuable Mercedes stationary in traffic.

Lampard has a cup of coffee in his right hand and is holding a phone in his left, with a black and white dog in the passenger seat. 

He looks startled before Mr van Erp alleged: ‘He’s on his phone, clearly holding and talking on his phone at the same time. And holding a coffee as well.’

Mr Freeman told MailOnline Lampard had been found not guilty due to the case being abandoned.

He said: ‘The Crown Prosecution Service have now concluded three days before the case was due before court there was insufficient evidence.

‘It came after we served a statement from a passenger in the car.

‘They would have had to prove he was driving, he was using his mobile phone, that he was using it for an interactive purpose.

‘All that would have needed to have been beyond reasonable doubt.

‘He pleaded not guilty and they dropped the case, so he’s been found not guilty.’ 

Lampard can be seen holding the mobile phone upwards towards his face but has his mouth closed in all of the footage

Lampard can be seen holding the mobile phone upwards towards his face but has his mouth closed in all of the footage 

A different shot of him taken by Mr van Erp appears to show the phone on a locked screen, suggesting it was not being used

A different shot of him taken by Mr van Erp appears to show the phone on a locked screen, suggesting it was not being used

There was also another unseen passenger in the car, as well as a dog sitting on the seat next to the football player

There was also another unseen passenger in the car, as well as a dog sitting on the seat next to the football player

Mr Loophole’s victories

Jimmy Carr

In 2009, the comedian — who has been represented by Freeman in three separate driving charges — was alleged to have used a mobile phone while driving his Bentley through Harrow, North-West London. Carr was cleared after Freeman argued Carr was not making a telephone call. He was actually using his iPhone to dictate an idea for a joke and dictating into a phone is not illegal.

Colin Montgomerie

Another three-time client of Freeman’s, the heavyweight golfer escaped a possible 56-day ban in June 2010, having been fined £60 for driving his £115,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur at 70mph in a 40mph zone of the A3 in South-West London, then failing to pay the penalty on time. Freeman persuade the court to let Monty keep driving as the golfer was scared of flying and is thus obliged to drive from his home in Scotland to Surrey just to see his and ex-wife Eimear’s three children.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

In 2007, Freeman successfully defended snooker star O’Sullivan, who was accused of failing to provide police with a urine sample when suspected of drink driving. Freeman argued the trial should be stopped because the magistrate was winking at a journalist, to which the magistrate replied: ‘Do you think I’m gay or something?’ The solicitor also argued that O’Sullivan could not provide a sample because his well-known depressive disorder meant that he was too stressed to pee.

David Beckham

In 1999, Becks was given an eight-month ban, having been caught driving his £150,000 Ferrari at 76mph in a 50mph zone in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Freeman successfully appealed the verdict, arguing that Becks was ‘petrified’ of having been chased for ten miles from his Alderley Edge home by a paparazzi. 

Sir Alex Ferguson

In 1999, Beckham’s then-manager also had cause to be grateful for Freeman’s services, having been caught avoiding a motorway traffic jam by driving down the hard shoulder. Freeman successfully argued that Fergie had a good reason for doing so, as he had a stomach upset, feared he was about to be caught short and was frantically trying to get to the toilet at Manchester United’s training ground.

Jeremy Clarkson

In October 2006, an Alfa Romeo that had been loaned to the Top Gear presenter was snapped doing 82mph in a 50mph zone in Ruislip, West London. Freeman had the case dropped within a matter of minutes. Freeman argued that Alfa Romeo, to whom the ticket was issued, passed it on to Clarkson because he had been loaned the car. But all Alfa knew was that Clarkson had borrowed the car — they had no proof he’d been driving it.

Andrew Flintoff

The England cricketer was alleged to have been driving at 87mph in a temporary 50mph zone on the M62. Yet the case against him at Liverpool Magistrates Court collapsed in less than a minute. Freeman said the authorities were simply too slow and the prosecution notice was received by Flintoff 16 days after the alleged offence, when the law says it has to be issued in 14 days.

Joe Cole

In 2010, England footballer Joe Cole escaped an automatic six-month ban despite being caught driving at 105mph on the A3 in Surrey. Freeman had the punishment cut to a £750 fine and a 50-day ban, which was immediately suspended when Freeman said that he would appeal the verdict, arguing that Cole had to be able to drive, since his wife Carly Zucker had been traumatised by a recent carjacking, could no longer drive herself and was, yes, too famous to use public transport.  

 

The Met Police have previously said Lampard admitted being behind the wheel of the Mercedes and was offered a fixed penalty fine earlier this year, but failed to pay it.

A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said the case had been shelved due to a lack of evidence.

They said: ‘After examining a file of evidence submitted by the Metropolitan Police Service, we concluded, in accordance with our legal test, there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.’

Mr van Erp had sent the footage to police and said he was ‘pretty disgusted’ with what he had seen.

The Lyrca-clad cyclist has previously used his helmet-mounted GoPro footage to bust motorists he accuses of breaking road traffic laws.

His highest profile snag was Guy Ritchie, who was banned from driving for six months last summer after he was confronted on camera. 

Over the course of his vigilante career, van Erp claims to have shopped more than 350 drivers breaking the law last year alone, and says he was responsible for 574 points and £35,400 dished out in fines.

Mr Freeman earned his ‘Mr Loophole’ nickname after making a lucrative career out of finding technical faults with driving charges for high-profile clients. 

In 2018, he got David Beckham off a speeding fine after pointing out legal papers had been served too late.

And in 2006, he fought for Jeremy Clarkson and saw his speeding case dropped after revealing there was no proof the former Top Gear host was driving a loaned Alfa Romeo snapped doing 82mph in a 50mph zone. 

Last summer, West Londoner van Erp filmed Hollywood director Ritchie texting at the wheel while stationary in Hyde Park and posts videos of all his triumphs on his ‘CyclingMikey’ YouTube channel under names like ‘Give me the finger, get a Fixed Penalty Notice’, ‘A total scofflaw’ and ‘quite a satisfying piece of justice’.

The vigilante caught Guy Ritchie in Hyde Park when the Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director, 53, was typing on his phone while stationary.

He videoed Ritchie – who used to be married to Madonna – before alerting the police.

Mr van Erp, a carer and full-time roller-skating instructor, has 64,700 subscribers and has described the ease with which he can land law-breaking drivers with a fine and possible disqualification. 

Explaining his motivation behind his crime-busting passion, he told MailOnline: ‘I definitely think what I am doing is keeping the roads safe. 

‘The points system is designed to get people to drive better.

‘I have had quite a lot of anonymous death threats through what I do.

‘My dad was killed by a drink-driver when I was 19, I still remember him, so I feel very strongly about road safety. 

‘I first got my helmet camera in 2006 and realised its potential.’ 

Mr van Erp’s other high-profile scalps include retired boxer Chris Eubank, who was claimed he was a police officer when he was challenged about using his mobile phone at the wheel of his £370,000 Rolls Royce – before promptly driving off and jumping a red light.

Mr van Erp challenged Eubank for having his phone in his hands but did not recognise the famous fighter, asking him during the confrontation: ‘Are you famous?’ 

Eubank was handed three penalty points and ordered to pay £280 in costs at Bromley Magistrates’ Court after admitting to failing to comply with the indication given by a traffic sign. 

The law states you can only use a hand-held device behind the wheel if the car is safely parked.

Crucially, this does not include if you are waiting at traffic lights or in a queue.

The only exception is for emergency calls when it is not safe to stop.

Punishment is six penalty points and a £200 fine, or if a driver has passed less than two weeks earlier they can even lose their licence. 

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