Frank Lampard drove with coffee in one hand and phone in the other, claims ‘cyclist activist’

·2 min read
Frank Lampard, who faces a criminal trial, pictured with wife Christine (Dave Benett)
Frank Lampard, who faces a criminal trial, pictured with wife Christine (Dave Benett)

Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard faces a criminal trial for allegedly driving while on the phone after he was reported to police by the same cyclist who caught out Chris Eubank and Guy Ritchie.

Mike van Erp says he spotted Lampard talking on the phone, clutching a cup of coffee, and controlling the steering wheel of his Mercedes with his wrist while sat in traffic in South Kensington.

The cyclist was filming the incident, on April 27, and sent off the video to police, saying he was “pretty disgusted” with the ex-Chelsea and England midfielder’s standard of driving.

Lampard, 43, has now been charged with driving while using a mobile phone but denies the offence, and has hired the law firm of Nick “Mr Loophole” Freeman to fight his case at trial.

Mr van Erp rides with a helmet-mounted GoPro camera and regularly hands over dossiers of evidence against motorists he thinks have broken the law.

Earlier this year, he was behind the prosecution of former champion boxer Chris Eubank who was caught running a red light in Hyde Park in his gold Rolls-Royce convertible.

In 2020, the cyclist reported Guy Ritchie for driving while using his phone, landing the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director with a six-month ban. In written evidence to Bromley magistrates’ court, Mr van Erp described the incident with Lampard.

He said: “I was cycling southbound on Gloucester Road and caught up to queuing traffic in both directions near the Gloucester Arms.

“I noticed this driver of a black Mercedes 4x4 holding a coffee in his right hand, and a phone in his left. I could see him talking on the phone... whilst resting his right inside wrist on the steering wheel.”

Lampard racked up 429 appearances and 147 goals for Chelsea, and played 106 times for England scoring 29 goals.

After ending his playing career, he took charge of Derby County before taking the Chelsea manager’s job in 2019. He was sacked in January this year after a poor run of form.

The Met say Lampard admitted being behind the wheel of the Mercedes and was offered a fixed penalty fine but did not pay it. He has been charged with “using a handheld mobile phone/device while driving a motor vehicle on a road”.

A letter from Freeman & Co tells the court the star denies the charge and intends to fight the case at a trial.

Mr Freeman earned the “Mr Loophole” nickname by exploiting legal technicalities to secure acquittals in motoring prosecutions. A magistrate, sitting in private in the Single Justice Procedure, adjourned Lampard’s case this week for a trial at City of London magistrates’ court on January 17.

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