Lehmann es­capes huge traf­fic fine

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

For­mer Ger­many goal­keeper Jens Lehmann yes­ter­day dodged a 240,000-euro ($263,000) fine, which was re­duced to 42,500 eu­ros, when he ap­peared in a Bavar­ian court on charges in­volv­ing two sep­a­rate driv­ing in­ci­dents.

The 46-year-old was ini­tially ac­cused of co­er­cion and at­tempted bod­ily harm af­ter al­legedly grab­bing an­other driver by the throat in a road­side dis­pute in Novem­ber 2014 in Starn­berg, 30 kilo­me­tres south of Mu­nich. With his two lawyers along­side him, Lehmann told the court in Starn­berg that he had felt threat­ened by the other driver dur­ing the mo­tor­way in­ci­dent. “I felt that he wanted to ram me, I was fright­ened to death,” said the ex-Schalke, Borus­sia Dort­mund and Ar­se­nal keeper, who now works as a tele­vi­sion pun­dit.

But the other driver gave a con­tra­dict­ing state­ment, say­ing Lehmann had braked hard, jumped out of his car and “yelled some­thing and grabbed me by the throat”.

Based on his salary, Lehmann had ini­tially been fined al­most a quar­ter-of-a-mil­lion eu­ros for the in­ci­dent out of court, but he ap­pealed the de­ci­sion, which took the mat­ter be­fore a judge. A deal be­tween the de­fence and pros­e­cu­tion sub­se­quently led to the judge drop­ping both the co­er­cion and at­tempted bod­ily harm charges on Wed­nes­day. In­stead, Lehmann re­ceived the 42,500 eu­ros fine for a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent last year when he failed to pro­vide suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion and left the scene of an ac­ci­dent. In Septem­ber 2015, Lehmann was the pas­sen­ger in a Mercedes in Mu­nich which col­lided with an­other car.

He gave the driver of the other ve­hi­cle an in­com­plete ad­dress and called him­self ‘Ger­hard Lehmann’-us­ing his mid­dle name. “Now ev­ery­thing is all right,” he is al­leged to have said be­fore get­ting back into the Mercedes and be­ing driven away be­fore po­lice ar­rived. Yes­ter­day, Lehmann left the Starn­berg court­room in si­lence hav­ing hoped to be ac­quit­ted of all charges.

The ex-Ger­many shot-stop­per won 61 caps for his coun­try be­tween 1998 and 2008. Lehmann suc­ceeded David Sea­man as Ar­se­nal goal­keeper and played in ev­ery league game of the 2003/04 ‘In­vin­ci­bles’ sea­son when the Gun­ners were un­beaten in the Premier League.

He made 148 league ap­pear­ances for Ar­se­nal be­tween 2003 and 2008, but was in­fa­mously sent off early in the 2006 Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal which Barcelona even­tu­ally won 2-1 at the Stade de France in Paris. — AFP

STARN­BERG: Jens Lehmann (C), for­mer goal­keeper of the Ger­man na­tional foot­ball team, stands be­tween his lawyers Stephan Tschaidse (L) and Eva Wi­eter­sheim prior to the start of his trial at court in Starn­berg near Mu­nich, south­ern Ger­many, yes­ter­day. Lehmann had to ap­pear in court to ap­peal a 240,000 eu­ros ($265,183) fine for at­tempted bod­ily harm from an in­ci­dent in Novem­ber 2014. —AFP

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