Ex-footballer Frank Lampard got off ‘scot-free’ for allegedly using a phone while driving as the case was dropped due to lack of evidence, the safety campaigner who filmed him claimed. In April 2021, Mike Van Erp – who is known as CyclingMikey on YouTube – was passing a row of stationary traffic in South Kensington, west London, when he saw Frank Lampard in a black Mercedes-Benz G Wagon.
‘I was cycling southbound on Gloucester Road and caught up to queuing traffic by the Gloucester Arms’, Mr Van Erp claimed. ‘I noticed the driver of a Mercedes-Benz 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.’
Mr Lampard was later charged with ‘using a handheld mobile phone/device while driving a motor vehicle on a road.’ He denied the charge and was due to appear in court during January 2022. However, despite the video the case was dropped before the trial due to a lack of evidence. Mr Lampard’s lawyer, Nick Freeman, said:
The Crown Prosecution Service ‘would have had to prove he was driving, he was using a mobile phone, and he was using it for an interactive purpose. All that would have needed to have been beyond reasonable doubt’. Mr Lampard ‘pleaded not guilty and they dropped the case – so he has been found not guilty’, Mr Freeman emphasised.
Safety campaigner displeased
Mike Van Erp, the safety campaigner who filmed Mr Lampard in his Mercedes-Benz, was due to appear in court as a witness. He is unhappy the case was dropped. ‘I think he has gotten off scot-free’, he stated. He also claimed that many such cases are not heard as the courts struggle to cope. ‘A couple of coppers have said the justice system is broken and they are binning cases left and right to reduce the massive backlog’, the campaigner suggested.
Safety experts urge caution
The London Road Safety Council added that every motorist should follow the rules of the road to minimise the risk of collision.
'All road users should take the greatest care for their own safety and the safety of others’, the spokesperson said. ‘Road users who allow themselves to become distracted can be responsible for causing grief and misery to others. Everyone, whoever they are, should set themselves the highest possible standards on the roads.'