VIDEO: England rugby star Martin Johnson banned from driving after speeding on M5 in Somerset (From Chard & Ilminster News)
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VIDEO: England rugby star Martin Johnson banned from driving after speeding on M5 in Somerset
Johnson was pulled over between Junctions 24 and 23 of the M5 by an officer in a marked police car as he drove his wife and two children home from a break in Devon.
The 43-year-old, of Mowsley, near Lutterworth, Leicester-shire, admitted speeding at Taunton Magistrates’ Court and was banned from driving for 49 days, fined £800 and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £35 costs.
The court heard that Johnson, who had three points for speeding in 2010, was “overtaking all other traffic” in the third lane at 107mph in his Range Rover at about 10pm on August 13 following a break in the family cottage near Sal-combe.
Stephen Gooden, defending, told magistrates: “He admitted his guilt at the first available opportunity and co-operated with police.
“When he was stopped, the traffic was light and he was in a very powerful vehicle.
“He wasn’t going to risk his wife, daughter and son’s safety.
“He understands the seriousness of the matter.”
Mr Gooden said Johnson’s primary occupation had been captain of England rugby team, who he led to World Cup glory in Australia in 2003, and then as its manager until 2011, when he retired.
He is currently self-employed and works irregularly, earning £55,000 to £60,000 a year from media work and other sources.
He added that Johnson “uses his name very much for the benefit of others and is heavily involved in charities up and down the country”.
After leaving court, Johnson, who won 84 England and eight British Lions caps and played his club rugby for Leicester, headed off by train to attend a charity dinner in London and he is due at a number of other events this week.
Following the hearing, Jane Hofmeister, whose 13-year-old daughter Amy was mown down by a speeding driver racing his girlfriend along Blackbrook Way, Taunton, in June 2011, said: “It isn’t a good example from somebody in the public eye. Speed kills – end of. We have speed limits for a reason.
“Driving in excess of 100mph just isn’t acceptable – you’re putting yourself, your passengers and everybody else at risk.”
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