The football star, 43, admitted using the device while driving in Great Portland Street, after being spotted by a member of the public on November 21. He was given six points on his licence by magistrates at Bromley Magistrates’ Court during a brief hearing this afternoon. The former England captain arrived in a dark grey suit just before 2pm, avoiding photographers as he made his way into the court building. His case was considered at the same court last month, through an administrative process known as a single justice procedure, which is not open to the press or public. The procedure was introduced across England and Wales in 2015 as a means of freeing up court time by allowing magistrates to quickly deal with low-level offences which do not warrant prison sentences. But the hearing was adjourned until today ‘to show cause’.
The star stood in court to say his full name, date of birth and his west London address. Prosecutor Matthew Spratt said Beckham was photographed by a member of public as he drove in ‘slowly moving’ traffic while holding a phone. He said: ‘Instead of looking straight forward, paying attention to the road, he appeared to be looking at his lap.’ He added: ‘He (the witness) says that the defendant was operating a handheld device at knee level. At that moment a photograph was taken. ‘The defendant was holding the mobile phone in the upright position.’ Gerrard Tyrrell, mitigating, said his client was travelling slowly and has ‘no recollection of the day in question or this particular incident’. He added: ‘There is no excuse for what took place but his view is as he cannot remember… he’s going to plead guilty and that’s what he’s done.
Mr Tyrrell told the court that Beckham finds driving a relaxing past-time. He said: ‘He takes his children to school each day when he can and he picks them up when he can, and actually to deprive them of that is something that he will acknowledge.’ Beckham already had six points on his driving licence for speeding, so was given a six month disqualification. He was also fined £750, ordered to pay £100 prosecution costs and a £75 surcharge fee within seven days. Beckham previously accepted he drove a loaned Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone in west London in January last year but avoided prosecution after enlisting the services of celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, who is dubbed Mr Loophole. Beckham did not face further action because a notice of intended prosecution was not received until one day after the statutory 14-day time limit. Mr Freeman also assisted Beckham in overturning an eight-month driving ban in 1999 after arguing that the footballer was trying to escape a paparazzi photographer.