‘Mr Loop­hole’ says pol­icy ‘doomed from start’

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - FARMING -

A TOP celebrity lawyer has slammed Der­byshire po­lice’s de­ci­sion to name driv­ers charged with drink-driv­ing on so­cial me­dia.

Nick Free­man, a de­fence lawyer who spe­cialises in traf­fic and speed­ing of­fences, is fa­mous for rep­re­sent­ing ex­crick­eter An­drew Flintoff and co­me­dian Jimmy Carr.

Dubbed ‘Mr Loop­hole,’ he man­ages to get his clients out of trou­ble and re­cently hit head­lines af­ter he helped David Beck­ham avoid a speed­ing con­vic­tion in 2018.

Der­byshire Po­lice re­cently dropped its de­ci­sion to name driv­ers charged with drink driv­ing in De­cem­ber af­ter it re­ceived a com­plaint and, ac­cord­ing to Mr Free­man, it was doomed from the start.

He claimed: “It was def­i­nitely flawed as it goes against all the pre­sump­tion of in­no­cence. Ev­ery­one is in­no­cent be­fore proven or plead­ing guilty. This has al­ways been the case.

“What I be­lieve po­lice should have done is waited and then pub­lished a list of peo­ple who were con­victed through­out De­cem­ber and not name them be­fore ap­pear­ing in court.

“It’s to­tally wrong; I be­lieve that any­one who has been named and not yet been con­victed should ei­ther seek le­gal ad­vice or write to the po­lice for an apol­ogy. Any­one who wishes to put their hands up and plead guilty then fine but just be­cause you have been charged does not mean you are guilty.

“I can un­der­stand what the po­lice were try­ing to do but you would think they would have looked at other forces and avoided it.

“We should be en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple not to drink and drive in­stead of point­ing them out on the in­ter­net”.

The cam­paign, which ap­peared to have over­whelm­ing pub­lic sup­port, has led to a num­ber of peo­ple com­plain­ing about the de­ci­sion to scrap nam­ing charged driv­ers.

Only five peo­ple were named on Der­byshire Con­stab­u­lary’s Twit­ter ac­count. The tweet still re­mains on its pro­file.

Der­byshire po­lice said it would not com­ment on Mr Free­man’s al­le­ga­tions.

Nick Free­man

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