Strictly Come Dancing winner Harry Judd has been convicted and fined for using his phone while at the wheel, in the latest case of a celebrity driver being caught out by a cyclist for illegal driving.
The 37-year-old musician was in an Audi in Kensington when he was filmed deep in conversation while holding his phone in his right hand. Judd, the drummer in pop-rock band McFly, appeared to notice the cyclist pulling alongside his car, but continued to talk on the phone while steering the sports car with his other hand.
The cyclist — who regularly films drivers who break the road rules — commented as Judd drove away: “Well he saw me — most people drop it like a hot potato… but not you.”
When written to by the Metropolitan Police, Judd admitted it was him in the footage and pleaded guilty to a charge of using a hand-held mobile device while driving a vehicle. He was sentenced by a magistrate to six penalty points, a £220 fine, £100 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Judd, who won the 2011 series of Strictly with Aliona Vilani, joins the list of famous people who have been caught out by the growing number of cyclists who monitor drivers in London.
Film director Guy Ritchie was caught out texting at the wheel by cyclist Mike van Erp, who also filmed former champion boxer Chris Eubank breaking the traffic laws by running a red light.
Mr van Erp is among the cyclists who routinely film their journeys and sometimes pass on to the police videos of drivers breaking the law, to form the centrepieces of prosecutions.
Judd was caught by a cyclist who posts videos online under the name MrClifCam at about 1pm on January 21. “I was cycling along the A4 when I saw the driver using a mobile phone,” he told Bromley magistrates’ court.
In a clip the drummer is seen driving on the A4 near the slip road for the Earl’s Court Road junction.
A Met Police officer told the court Judd was first sent a fixed penalty notice over the incident, but he had “failed to fulfil the requirements of the fixed penalty by failing to surrender their licence. The matter was therefore referred to the prosecution unit for a single justice notice to be issued”, he said.
Judd pleaded guilty in the single justice procedure online, and offered no mitigation.
He was given 28 days to settle the fine. The court case was dealt with entirely based on written evidence and in a behind-closed-doors hearing. It is not known if the magistrate viewed the footage of the offence.