Thursday, February 17, 2011
It's all about how you spin it...
Sporting headlines have been dominated this week by the drink-driving charges against Graeme Swann. The cricketer declined the services of Nick “Mr. Loophole” Freeman but his representative, solicitor Phillip Lucas, found a get-out-clause that would have made Freeman proud. Swann’s excuse came in the form of a bizarre tale regarding his “beloved” cat being trapped under the floorboards following building work at the home he shares with wife Sarah. In order to free said creature Swann was obliged to drive to a 24/7 Asda store to purchase a screwdriver. Unfortunately for both Swann and the cat the police stopped him en route and breathalysed him. On discovering that he was over the limit they demanded blood samples, wherein lay the loophole. The nurse took a first sample, decided it was not sufficient and then took a second. This second sample was unnecessary and according to an expert witness could have been contaminated. Therefore the case, which was based on the second sample, has been thrown out. It appears that Lucas is nearly as good at spin as Swann.
Telegraph reporter Andrew Hough has tapped into this rich vein of news stories regarding sporting heroes, their brushes with the law and the loopholes they have used to escape. The host of excuses range from the sublime to the ridiculous with gems such as “wrongly worded summons letter” to “being too stressed to give a drink drive sample.” ( See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/8328438/Graeme-Swann-not-guilty-of-drink-driving-celebrity-driving-excuses.html for more details.)
Picture by Richard Woods