September 8, 2011

Footballer Escapes Ban

A Shrewsbury Town footballer who was caught using a mobile phone at the wheel escaped a driving ban because he said he needed his car to get to training sessions.
Reuben Hazell, 32, who signed for Shrewsbury in June, told a court that no-one was available to chauffeur him on the 110-mile round trip from his Birmingham home to the League Two club’s Greenhous Meadow stadium.
The defender claimed special hardship, saying no family member, including his uncle, former Wolves defender Bob Hazell, or colleague could give him lifts.
Hazell already had nine points on his licence, and was handed three more for using his phone while driving, which meant he could have been handed an immediate ban.
Appearing at Oldham Magistrates Court, he admitted using a mobile phone in his car at Oldham in March.
Julie Spaven, prosecuting, told the court that a police community support officer had spotted Hazell, who was then playing for Oldham Athletic, using his mobile phone while driving his Volkswagen car.
Hazell told the court his partner worked full-time for the Crown Prosecution Service so could not drive him. And the court was told there were not any trains that ran close to the club’s ground and he could not afford to take a taxi every day.
Asked by court legal advisor Kay O’Sullivan whether he would be fired if he could not get to work, Hazell said: “I presume not, but there is no guarantee if you start missing a day of training.”
He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
As well as giving Mr Hazell three points on his licence, chairman of the bench Chetana Bhatt-Shah handed the footballer a £150 fine, charged him £35 costs and imposed a £15 victims’ surcharge.

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