Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding banned from driving

By | Published on Wednesday 17 April 2013

Sarah Harding

Former Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding has been banned from driving for six months after admitting to failing to stop for police when she was spotted talking on her phone while driving.

As previously reported, an on-bike officer saw the singer using a mobile handset while driving down Charing Cross Road in Central London earlier this month. She initially failed to pull over when the policeman signalled that she should, but was stopped a few minutes later. After speaking to officers by her vehicle for a few minutes she was arrested and taken to Holborn Police Station to be charged for both using her phone while driving and failing to stop for police. She appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court yesterday to face the charges.

Harding’s solicitor Nick Freeman tried to save his client from the driving ban, arguing that the singer’s celebrity status would make it a “massive inconvenience” for her to use public transport like a normal person. But District Judge Nina Tempia wasn’t impressed with that argument, telling Harding: “As Mr Freeman has said, he is asking the court to deal with you [differently] to a normal person. [But] you are a normal person. I can see no reason why you shouldn’t be disqualified”.

So that’s her (and Freeman) told. Harding was also ordered to pay a fine of £500, plus a £20 ‘victim surcharge’ and £85 court costs.

Despite trying to dodge the ban, Harding seemed keen to repent over the ‘using phone while driving’ thing, saying outside court: “Too many people use their mobile phone whilst driving and think it’s acceptable. It is not. Every year people die or are seriously injured because they were distracted making that ‘oh so important call’. Mobile phones are a convenient tool for modern life but they must be used safely. I made a mistake by using my phone whilst driving, but I was lucky. I accept the court’s penalty but it could have been a lot worse. I have learned my lesson”.