Surrey; England international Frank Lampard has been banned from driving for 90 days. The Chelsea footballer, who did not appear at his sentencing at Staines Magistrates’ Court on Friday, had previously pleaded guilty to driving at speeds of 91mph and 92mph in a 50mph zone. He was caught in a Range Rover on the Esher bypass in Claygate in March 2010. It was the ninth hearing into the incident, none of which Lampard has attended. At a previous hearing, his solicitors Freeman and Co, said his non-attendence was due to Chelsea training and child care commitments. Lampard is one of several footballers to appear in court in connection with driving a Range Rover. See LRO's earlier story here on LRO.com.
Greater Manchester; Stephen Sharples will have to sell his seven houses and luxury 4x4 after he was ordered, by a proceeds of Crime hearing at Bolton Crown Court, to repay £113,278 he made from his drug dealing. Police said Sharples from Radcliffe, thought he was untouchable because of the arrogance with which he flaunted his wealth. Sharples is now serving an 18-month jail sentence after being caught dealing drugs from his Range Rover last April and was jailed in August after he admitted conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Police found £49,750 of amphetamine, £9,477 of cannabis resin, hundreds of pounds of cocaine, some heroin and £3,280 cash in his car. Detective Chief Inspector Lynn Vernon said, 'The value of drugs recovered from Sharples’ car and house demonstrate a level of arrogance that suggests to me he thought he was untouchable.'
Worcestershire; A driver bought a used Discovery from Empire Auto Care in Evesham and is lucky not to be involved in a serious crash after the Land Rover Discovery was found to have corroded wheel bearings, making it unsafe to drive. The garage owners have now been made to pay up nearly £4,000 following a court case. Speaking after the hearing, Steve Jordan, head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services which includes trading standards, said, 'The condition of this vehicle could have had serious consequences not only for the person who purchased the car, but for other roads users and even pedestrians if it had gone out of control while been driven.' Andrea Bille of Abbotswood, Evesham, admitted at Worcester Magistrates Court to selling a Land Rover Discovery in an unroadworthy condition. Business partner Krzysztof Jagiello, aged 30, of Evesham, failed to show up and the case was heard in his absence. During the hearing brought by Worcestershire Regulatory Services, the court was told how the woman bought the vehicle through eBay for £2,000 in July 2010. However, she soon noticed problems while driving the 1992-registered vehicle and an examination by another garage found serious faults. She returned to Empire Auto Care in Birmingham Road, Blackminster, Evesham, to try to resolve the matter, but the garage was not helpful and told her not to contact them again. As a result, officers from Worcestershire Regulatory Services were contacted and an independent examination was carried out by a vehicle expert who reported that it was in a dangerous unroadworthy condition and should not be driven. For offences under the Road Traffic Act 1988, Bille was fined £500 and Jagiello £800. Each had to pay costs of £812.60, a £15 victim surcharge and £500 compensation to the woman. Mr Jordan said, 'This service will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those businesses who sell vehicles which are dangerous to drive.' He said people selling or buying a vehicle should make sure it has been thoroughly checked by a suitably qualified person. Consumer Direct can provide advice if consumers have concerns about goods or services. Call 08454 040506 or visit the website consumer direct.gov.uk
Kent; A golf club is counting the cost of a wave of car crime in Westerham after joyriders took a vehicle and caused £10,000 damage to greens. The vandals stole a Land Rover Defender from outside Squerryes Estate and wreaked havoc at the course which will take weeks to put right. Police have branded the trend of car thefts as 'creeper break-ins' – where criminals believed to be from London steal vehicles to then commit other crimes. They then make a quick escape via the M25. John Warde, who owns Squerryes Estate, has spoken of his 'frustration' after the burnt-out shell of his green Land Rover Defender was found dumped on Kent and Surrey Golf and Country Club course, Edenbridge. The culprits were seen making off with the Land Rover on CCTV at about 10.30pm on March 4 after hot-wiring the vehicle, which had been left parked in front of Squerryes Estate.