Sarah Harding, one of the members of British pop group Girls Aloud has this week been banned from driving.
The 31-year old singer was pulled over in Central London earlier this month after being spotted using a mobile phone while at the wheel of her Range Rover.
Harding appeared to be oblivious to the policeman, who had been following behind on a bicycle; Harding even reportedly cutting him up at the time of the offence.
The singer admitted culpability at the scene, saying to the officer upon realising she has been caught: ‘I know, I know – I’m lost’.
She had originally been further charged with failing to stop for police, but it was dropped after the court accepted that she had stated to the officer at the time that it was not safe.
The star faced an automatic ban under the ‘totting up’ system, as she has already accrued nine points for similar offences.
Harding had attempted to use her celebrity status to avoid having to surrender her licence, claiming that she would be constantly harassed if she were forced to use public transport.
District Judge Nina Tempia begged to differ, suggesting that Harding should hire a driver.
Handing down sentence, she said: “You are a normal person, I can see no reason why you shouldn’t be disqualified.”
Despite hiring celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, known as ‘Mr Loophole’, Ms Harding failed to keep her licence.
He attempted to persuade the court that Harding shouldn’t be subject to an automatic ban as she had already suffered enough due to negative publicity over the case in the national press.
Mitigating, he also said: “The Range Rover Bluetooth system unfortunately works erratically, and on this occasion it didn’t work and that was the reason she used the phone.
“She used it when she was stationary, not when she was moving. But, of course, it’s still a criminal offence.”
As well as being banned from driving for six months, Harding was also ordered to pay a £500 fine, and costs totalling £105.