Lehmann escapes huge traffic fine
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