Former Chelsea and England football star Frank Lampard has allegedly been caught on camera by Mike van Erp – better known on social media as Cycling Mikey – holding a cup of coffee in one hand and a mobile phone in the other. The ex-midfielder is due in court next month to defend the charge, and will be represented by none other than celebrity driving offences lawyer, Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman.
Van Erp says he spotted the 43 year old, who was sacked as Chelsea manager last January, in South Kensington on 27 April, using one of his wrists to steer his Mercedes, reports the London Evening Standard, and said he was “pretty disgusted” with Lampard’s driving.
The former footballer has been charged with driving while using a mobile phone, which he denies, and has instructed Freeman, who built his reputation on helping celebrity clients get acquitted of motoring offences, often on a technicality, to defend him.
The Metropolitan Police says that he had been offered a fixed penalty fine but declined to pay it, instead opting to take his chances at trial, set for 17 January at City of London Magistrates’ Court.
“I was cycling southbound on Gloucester Road and caught up to queuing traffic in both directions near the Gloucester Arms,” said Van Erp.
“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.”
Van Erp is well-known for posting footage online of people he has witnessed committing road traffic offences, mostly drivers, and Lampard isn't the first celebrity he has reported to the authorities. In July last year Guy Ritchie was banned from driving for six months after Van Erp shot footage of him texting from his phone at the wheel of a Range Rover in November 2019.
In September 2020, Van Erp spotted the driver of a Rolls-Royce using a phone at the wheel. The driver was the former boxer Chris Eubank, who then drove through a red light as he was "trying to get away" from the cyclist, Eubank later claimed in court. In June of this year, Eubank was given three penalty points and told to pay £280 in fines, court costs and fees.
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Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.