Claridge spared jail for dangerous driving

Former striker Steve Claridge was given a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years today for dangerous driving.

Claridge was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid community work when he appeared at Birmingham Crown Court.

The 42-year-old was found guilty of the offence last month after jurors heard that he drove at speeds of around 100mph in treacherous conditions.

The soccer pundit, from, Hampshire in the UK, was pulled over by an unmarked police car on the southbound carriageway of the M40 between junctions four and three on December 30, 2006, after repeatedly undertaking other vehicles.

During his trial, Claridge said he was trying to leave the motorway to find a toilet.

Claridge said he was driving at “slightly in excess of 70mph” and denied that it was raining at the time.

He told the court: “It certainly wasn’t dangerous. It wasn’t the best bit of driving I have ever done but it wasn’t dangerous.”

But Nigel Wilkins, prosecuting, said Claridge drove at high speed on wet roads, repeatedly switching lanes and causing other drivers to “brake sharply in order to let him in”.

It was, he said, a “consistent piece of dangerous driving”.

Jurors heard from police officers that Claridge, driving a silver Peugeot 307, was “jumping up and down” on the hard shoulder when he was pulled over.

Pc Keith Dyson said: “As I started speaking to him, he started jumping up and down on the hard shoulder, holding his crotch and acting like a child who is desperate to go to the toilet.”

Following the verdict, the court heard that Claridge already has nine points on his driving licence.

Claridge played clubs including Leicester, Birmingham and Portsmouth during a journeyman professional career.

He was driving home from Blackpool after compiling a scouting report when he was pulled over, he told the court.

More in this Section

Graham adds to Scotland woes after Russell exclusionGraham adds to Scotland woes after Russell exclusion

Achilles injury halts Okunbor's AFL progressAchilles injury halts Okunbor's AFL progress

'We don't know where we stand': Potential loopholes undermine new rules'We don't know where we stand': Potential loopholes undermine new rules

England hold clear-the-air talks over Saracens issue ahead of Six NationsEngland hold clear-the-air talks over Saracens issue ahead of Six Nations


IT IS movie award season and Irish designers and their luxury creations were the stars of the silver screen this week.From red carpet to luxe rugs: Ireland's designers get movie-star treatment

Falsies don’t have to be fiddly, says Katie Wright.5 common myths about false lashes

Hiring professional designers to guide you through a home revamp can get you what you want, which doesn’t necessarily have to be what TV home improvement shows tell us, writes Carol O’Callaghan.What a professional interior designer can do for you when planning a home revamp

Kya deLongchamps turns the spotlight on countertop stars to look out for in the last throes of the January sales.Counter culture: Some star kitchen appliance buys

More From The Irish Examiner