December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 11, 2013
Former world heavyweight boxing champion Herbie Hide escaped going to jail after admitting a string of driving offences.
The 42-year-old, of Long Lane in Bawburgh, near Norwich, was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, after pleading guilty to 10 charges of failing to tell police who was driving his car when it was caught speeding.
He also admitted driving while disqualified in May, four weeks after magistrates revoked his licence in his absence, and driving without insurance the previous November.
At the start of yesterday’s hearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Hide’s lawyer asked for the case concerning the original driving disqualification to be reopened, on the grounds that he had been going to and from Nigeria to promote a boxing event, and was not aware of the case.
However, the bench rejected the application because of a lack of evidence that he had not received letters sent about the hearing.
Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Hide was disqualified for six months on April 5, but police saw him get into a Vauxhall Vectra on Cathedral Street, Norwich, on May 4, and drive 10-15m before the vehicle was stopped.
Officers arrested him after a check confirmed he was disqualified.
Mr Ablett said Hide had also been sent 10 notices asking who was driving the car when it was caught speeding, but he had not responded.
Mahtab Aziz, representing Hide, said: “Mr Hide is trying to get his career back on track and it involved him going here and there promoting his boxing. It was not intentional, but due to the circumstances he finds himself in he was not able to respond to those notices.”
He added: “In this stage of his life, he is coming to the end of his career. If he were to be given [a sentence] at the maximum it would impinge on him greatly.”
He said that, “being a generous man”, Hide had let friends borrow his car, and it was hard for him to say who the driver was on all occasions.
As well as the suspended sentence, magistrates banned him from driving for three years.
Lead magistrate Anne Duarte said: “Not replying to any of 10 communications is unacceptable. We are aware of the risk to the public when people drive when they are not qualified.”