Footballer Marlon King has lost his appeal over a driving offence which left a seriously injured motorist having to be cut out of his car.
The 34-year-old striker, who was released by Sheffield United last year, was jailed for 18 months at Nottingham Crown Court in May after pleading guilty to a charge of dangerous driving.
The court heard that King, whose previous convictions included driving with excess alcohol and using a vehicle while uninsured, had been eating an ice cream at the wheel of his Porsche when he caused a three car pile-up on the A46 in Nottinghamshire in April 2013.
Today, the Court of Appeal in London was asked to grant permission to appeal the sentence with a view to it being replaced with a suspended term to make it easier for King to join his wife and three young children in Zambia, where they had recently moved.
His counsel, Melissa Millin, told Lord Justice Aikens, Mr Justice Hickinbottom and Mr Justice Lindblom that the sentence was proportionate and reasonable except for the effect it was having on King’s family.
She said that King’s wife, who was caring for elderly parents and managing the family business, was suffering from depression and the children were struggling to settle.
Mr Justice Lindblom said that the sentencing judge had described King’s behaviour as aggressive, arrogant and “little short of madness”.
The family’s decision to move was no doubt difficult, but it was one they took in the circumstances and there was no justification for permitting an appeal against sentence.
“We cannot see a sentence of 18 months as arguably too long. It was – and remains – a just sentence which fairly reflects the culpability of the appellant and the effect on the victims.
“It was an unusually bad offence of its kind with episodes of extremely aggressive driving and sudden changes of lane and speed on a busy road culminating with him stopping, blocking the path of a vehicle and causing the collisions which followed.
“It was, in truth, deliberately dangerous driving, which may have resulted in far more serious injuries or worse.”