Mr Loophole helps ex-City player with driving ban

By John Jeffay, July 7, 2011
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Barry Silkman in his football days

Barry Silkman in his football days

A former Manchester City and Leyton Orient player is celebrating after successfully challenging a driving ban with the help of the lawyer Mr Loophole.

Barry Silkman, the East End born midfielder who was the last British Jew to play top flight football, was caught driving 17 miles above the speed limit two years ago.

A recorder at Basildon Crown Court, Essex ruled he should be banned from driving for six months but agreed to quash the penalty after learning of the "exceptional impact" it would have on Mr Silkman's life.

Mr Silkman, 59 and now a football agent, said he would be unable to do his job and so keep up his mortgage payments if he could not drive. He also said the ban would prevent him from seeing his children.

He was represented in the legal fight by a member of Jewish celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman's team. Known as Mr Loophole, Mr Freeman has helped stars including Wayne Rooney, Jeremy Clarkson and Sir Alex Ferguson beat driving penalties.

Mr Silkman, who said: "I am very pleased with the outcome of the case and that I am not being banned from driving.

"The judge saw my point of view because if I had been banned my business would have failed and more importantly I would not have been able to provide for my children."

Mr Silkman played for a number of clubs in his career, including a very brief spell at Maccabi Tel Aviv in 1980.

    Last updated: 1:48pm, July 7 2011