Footballer Jermain Defoe faces fresh ban after using mobile phone at wheel

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The Independent Online

Footballer Jermain Defoe could be disqualified from driving for the second time in less than 12 months.

The 27-year-old, of Cuffley, Hertfordshire, today admitted using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a Range Rover in Loughton, Essex, in October 2009.

Magistrates in Witham, Essex, adjourned sentencing until September 17 to enable lawyers to check how many points Defoe had on his licence.

A court clerk told magistrates that the picture was complicated but Defoe appeared to have amassed 14 "live" penalty points and would be facing a ban.

The Tottenham and England striker was not in court - his guilty plea was entered by a lawyer.

Defoe was banned from driving for six months in 2009 after being convicted of speeding.

District Judge David Cooper, sitting in Chelmsford, Essex, in July, was told that Defoe twice broke a 50mph speed limit on the M11 northbound in Chigwell, Essex, in 2008.

The court heard that Defoe's luxury black Land Rover sports vehicle was clocked travelling at 65mph on April 16 and 81mph on June 5.

Defoe denied any offence but Judge Cooper found him guilty of speeding and failing to inform the authorities who was driving.

The soccer star's appeal against the ban was dismissed by a judge at Chelmsford Crown Court in November 2009.

Appeal judge Anthony Goldstaub QC said he thought Defoe had "played the litigation game".

He said Defoe's appeal arguments were based on "sad and ill-conceived technical points" and said the driving ban should come into force.

The footballer, who is represented by celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, who is known as "Mr Loophole", had argued 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 he had received speeding notices; and the court could not be sure he had not responded to the notices.

Defoe was again convicted of speeding in January 2010 when magistrates in Portsmouth, Hampshire, fined him £400 and added four points to his licence.

The court was told that Defoe was caught driving at 45mph in a 30mph zone in Portsmouth in May 2008.