This Time Barton Walks Out Of Court!

Last updated : 14 November 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor


Barton was glad "common sense had prevailed" after a motoring case against him was dropped.

The Toon midfielder had denied the charge of failure to give information
regarding a driver's identity after his Land Rover was spotted speeding by police.

Barton's car was caught on speed camera travelling at 39mph in a 30mph
zone on the A69 near Haydon Bridge, Northumberland, on December 15 last year.

He was not charged with speeding.

That Haydon Bridge camera is notorius, and sadly the bastard nailed one of our NU-Mad team last year ... and we didn't get away with it.

However, it was "burnt out" a couple of weeks later when a tyre filled with petrol was placed over it and set alight.

Not a bad thing ... we say ... but it was soon replaced.

Barton's case was dismissed by magistrates, who decided it was likely he did not receive an initial letter from the police about the offence.

Barton told the court he could not recall what happened that night, but did not believe he was driving because he was injured at the time.

Barton: "I had ruptured my medial knee ligament and I was in a knee brace, so it would have been impossible for me to drive. I had people insured to drive me around."

When asked by prosecutor Cuthbert Regan about his whereabouts on the
night of the alleged offence, he answered: "I was probably in bed."

He added: "My understanding of speed cameras is there is a flash, and I
don't recall a flash."

The court heard the first letter was sent by Northumbria Police on December 22, and a reminder was sent on January 26, and on February 24
another letter was posted, and a summons issued on April 30.

The Newcastle United midfielder said he had not received the initial
letter, but on receiving the second letter in January, he immediately passed it on to his solicitor.

The correspondence was sent to the footballer's address in Widnes,
Cheshire, where the car is registered, although he was living in Jesmond, Newcastle.

He said: "If I had got it (the letter) I would have dealt with it. I would have no reason not to."

Barton said: "As soon as I got it, I sent it to my solicitor, Mr Lewis."

"I moved to the North East about a year and a half before the driving

"When I first moved to the North East, I was in hotels for a few months at a time.

"I couldn't really register my car to a hotel or somewhere I didn't know I was going to be."

Speaking about his house in Widnes, he said: "It was a new-build. When I
bought it, it was a plot of land.

"Eventually there were nearly 1,000 homes on the estate, and there was no postcode at first."

Speaking about disruption to the post he said: "I was used to the letters coming in higgledy-piggledy and not getting bills until the final reminder.

"Some people said they sent me cards that I never received. I went to the local post office to try and sort it out."

He told the court he'd had to set up standing orders because of delays in getting bills.

Chairman of the Bench Joseph Cox said: "We have decided on the balance of possibility that you did not receive the initial correspondence.

"We know that you did contact the local mail sorting office and that you
set up standing orders. We are not satisfied that the evidence is sufficient."

Speaking outside court, Barton said: "I'm happy to see common sense has

He said he could not work out who was driving the car, because at
least five people were insured on the Land Rover.

He said: "I whittled it down to the two people I thought it was, my father, or my friend Matthew."

But the court heard he could not be certain who was driving the car at the time.