Former Arsenal star Paul Merson banned from driving and hit with heavy fine

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson
Former Arsenal player Paul Merson -Credit:(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has been hit with a six-month driving ban and a hefty fine after being caught speeding on four separate occasions.

Despite pleading guilty during his disqualification hearing at Guildford Magistrates Court, Merson has seen his licence revoked and received a significant fine. Accumulating 12 penalty points translated into a financial penalty for Merson, who is now obliged to pay a £2,640 fine, a victim surcharge of £1,056 and prosecution costs of £110, all due within 28 days.

Chief Magistrate Joan Lindsay highlighted that the ex-Arsenal star's previous track record on the road was "not great", warning him sternly: "You mustn't drive on any UK road once you leave court."

Merson was busted exceeding the limit by 7mph on the A316 Great Chertsey Road in Feltham, south west London, on September 9 before being detected speeding on the same road only two days later.

The Sky Sports pundit was later caught going seven mph over the 50mph limit in Sunbury on October 1. On top of these charges, Merson had previously been penalised for pushing 60mph in a 50mph zone on the M3 at Thorpe, Surrey, on February 27 last year.

Guildford court was informed the 56-year-old had already accumulated nine points on his licence for speeding offences in 2021 and 2022. His defence barrister, Nicholas Maggs, argued that the recent infractions involved "relatively modest" speeds and emphasised that the driving disqualification would significantly impact Merson's life, as his wife does not drive.

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"On his behalf, I wish to put forward his remorse for these offences," stated Maggs. "He accepts it's not acceptable. Through me he apologises to the court for finding himself before the court and finding himself disqualified for driving. It's going to make things substantially more difficult."

Maggs also highlighted Merson's candidness about his past struggles with alcohol, gambling and drug addictions, suggesting this openness is a testament to his good character and his commitment to assisting others.

He added: "I'm sure the court will appreciate Mr Merson experienced a number of difficulties in his younger life and has now chosen to use these positively through unpaid speaking events to help younger people from suffering mental health problems."