Defoe faces ban after admitting using phone in car

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The Independent Football

The Tottenham and England striker Jermain Defoe could be disqualified from driving for the second time in less than a year.

Yesterday he 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 17 September to enable lawyers to check on how many points Defoe had on his driving 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. Defoe was not in court, his guilty plea was entered by a lawyer.

Defore had been banned from driving for six months in 2009 after being convicted of speeding. The 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 16 April and 81mph on 5 June.

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

The player's appeal against the ban was dismissed by a judge at Chelmsford Crown Court in November 2009. The appeal judge Anthony Goldstaub QC said he thought Defoe had "played the litigation game". He said that 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.