Wolves defender banned from driving after being caught speeding twice in half an hour

A Wolverhampton Wanderers footballer who was caught speeding twice within the space of half an hour while driving to see his ex-girlfriend has been banned from driving.

Dion Sanderson of Wolverhampton Wanderers was caught speeding in Lincolnshire twice in the middle of the night
Dion Sanderson of Wolverhampton Wanderers was caught speeding in Lincolnshire twice in the middle of the night

Dion Sanderson was sentenced at Lincoln Magistrates' Court on Friday after admitting two speeding offences.

The court heard how the 23-year-old defender, currently on loan at Birmingham City, was caught doing 78mph in a 60mph zone by an average speed camera along the A16 between the villages of Crowland and Cowbit in Lincolnshire, just after 2am on April 16 last year.

Half an hour later, at 2.35am, another average speed camera captured Sanderson's Range Rover Sport travelling along the A52 between Haltoft End and Butterwick, just east of Boston, at 54mph. The speed limit was 40mph.

At the time the defender already had six points on his licence as a result of speeding offences in 2020 and 2021.

Mitigating for the "extremely remorseful" footballer, who was on loan at Championship side Queens Park Rangers at the time, Mr Craig Smith told magistrates that Sanderson was driving to see an ex-girlfriend on the night he was caught.

"It's not an area he is familiar with," Mr Smith said. "He didn't know the roads and was not aware of any (speed camera) flashes. Then he got a notice and he was extremely surprised. He usually drives very carefully."

Explaining how the defender helps support his family financially and has other investments which would be "time-consuming" and "expensive" to change, Mr Smith continued: "It's going to extremely difficult to be able to afford the driver to drive him around for six months," with Birmingham City confirming they would not provide any alternative transport.

The court heard how Sanderson helps provide for his family, including taking his mother to and from work. Mr Smith said the 22-year-old takes these responsibilities "extremely seriously".

Sanderson himself took to the dock to plead exceptional hardship, saying that losing his ability to drive could affect his family, who he supports financially.

When asked if his parents could survive without his help, Sanderson said: "No."

Sanderson also said that the risk of being late for training at Birmingham City could lead to club fines and not being included in matchday squads, something which could "have a big impact" on his career.

When asked if there will be a repeat of this in future, Sanderson replied: "No, most definitely not. It's not in my nature, I'm a mature, responsible footballer.

"I like to take care of everyone, and I'm deeply sorry."

However, magistrates did not accept pleas of exceptional hardship, telling the Wolves defender he had admitted that the worst thing would be needing a driver for six months.

Banning him from driving for six months, the magistrate told Sanderson: "Being banned would not threaten your livelihood as long as you can attend training and matchdays," describing the loss of his driving licence as "inconvenient".

Sanderson, who admitted the speeding offences back in November, was fined £1,322 pounds and ordered to pay a £66 surcharge as well as £90 costs, bringing his total bill to £1,488.

A third speeding charge was withdrawn.

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