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'Frivolous' Defoe appeal dismissed

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A Chelmsford Crown Court judge has dismissed a "frivolous" appeal by Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe against a six-month driving ban.

Ordering the footballer to pay legal costs amounting to £1,570, Judge Anthony Goldstaub QC said during the hearing that the footballer had "played the litigation game", and that the arguments were devoid of "substantial merit".

Mr Defoe had exceeded a 50mph speed limit on the M11 in Chigwell, Essex, in 2008 on two occasions, Chelmsford Magistrates' Court was told.

District Judge David Cooper was told Defoe's Land Rover sports vehicle was caught travelling at 65mph on April 16 and at 81mph on June 5.

Defoe was fined £1,500, disqualified from driving for six months, had 12 penalty points added to his licence and was ordered to pay £600 costs.

Mr Defoe's lawyer Nick Freeman, nicknamed Mr Loophole, appealed and argued that there was no evidence to prove he was driving; paperwork may not have been issued be by an authorised person; the court could not be sure Defoe had received speeding notices, and so on.

Judge Goldstaub said: "This appeal is a frivolous and vexatious piece of criminal litigation by the appellant and should never have been initiated. It is based on technical and legal points empty of substantial merit and bad in themselves."

© Press Association 2009