Sky Sports pundit cleared of speeding charge

Burnley Magistrates Court

Burnley Magistrates Court

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A FORMER football star allegedly caught driving at almost twice the speed limit has been cleared of the charge at Burnley Magistrates’ Court.

Iain Dowie, who played for West Ham United and Southampton during his career, was allegedly clocked doing 59mph in a 30mph zone in Laneshawbridge last year, Burnley magistrates heard.

The ex-Hull City and Crystal Palace manager, who now works for Sky Sports and is a regular commentator at Turf Moor, was not in court but was represented by the firm of top celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman known as “Mr Loophole”.

The 46-year-old, who lives in Chorley New Road, Bolton, with his wife and two sons, pleaded not guilty to the offence which was alleged to have occurred on September 25th last year on the A6068 Keighley Road in Laneshawbridge.

The court heard the 2010-registration Audi was clocked by a hand-held police camera in the 30mph zone and three days later the lease company Coventry Audi was sent a notification.

Mr Dowie was sent a Section 172 Notice and it was sent back on October 18th with Mrs Deborah Dowie nominating herself as the driver.

A further form was sent on November 5th on which Mr Dowie was nominated as the driver. He was summonsed to attend court for a plea and case management hearing on March 29th of this year.

However, Frankie Oultram (defending) claimed the CPS had not passed key video footage of the alleged incident to Mr Dowie’s defence team until a week before Friday’s trial – even though it had been requested on March 9th. A further letter was sent to the CPS on June 29th requesting the video evidence.

The Sky Sports football commentator’s legal team hoped to pass the footage on to experts for analysis to corroborate it, check the calibration and explore the possibility of human error on the hand-held police camera.

But Mr Oultram said the CPS failure to send it when requested meant this analysis was not possible in time for the trial.

Miss Enza Geldard (prosecuting) said: “This case has had enough public money used. I will offer no evidence.”