Sunderland star loses bid to overturn driving ban

Phil Bardsley
Phil Bardsley
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SUNDERLAND AFC star Phil Bardsley has had his appeal against a six-month driving ban rejected.

Fans’ favourite Bardsley was disqualified from driving after illegally parking his Range Rover while popping out to the bookies to collect his winnings.

He had already clocked up nine penalty points for three speeding offences.

On March 18 this year, police spotted the 25-year-old’s vehicle parked on zig-zag lines approaching a zebra crossing in Newbottle Street, Houghton.

The former Manchester United defender had been to the Co-op to buy food, then drove to a bookies to collect his winnings from a horse race.

Bardsley, of East Rainton, admitted the offence and was given a six-month ban as well as a £900 fine by Sunderland magistrates in July.

Thomas Eastick, chairman of the bench, told him he had shown a “total disregard for pedestrians and other road users”.

But Bardsley was at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday to contest that sentence. His defence barrister claimed that the driving ban has greatly inconvenienced the footballer, as it prevented him from driving to training and taking his two-year-old son to nursery.

The court heard how Bardsely had parked on the street as he could not find anywhere else and had only left his vehicle unattended for a few minutes.

Adrian Dent, defending, said: “He accepts what he did was wrong and annoying. He couldn’t find anywhere to park. He was away for a short period of time, for only a few minutes. It is not as if he left his car there for the whole afternoon.”

Judge John Milford QC interjected: “I would have thought it was in his means to employ a driver”.

Judge Milford added that there were no adequate grounds for appeal.