Manchester United star Aaron Wan-Bissaka admits driving offences

·3-min read
Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka leaving Manchester Magistrates’ Court (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)
Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka leaving Manchester Magistrates’ Court (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

Manchester United footballer Aaron Wan-Bissaka has pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified, without a licence and without insurance, but will deny a speeding offence at a trial next year.

The 23-year-old right-back stood in the dock at Manchester Magistrates’ Court and spoke only to confirm his name and address and enter his guilty pleas during a brief hearing on Wednesday.

District Judge Bernard Begley agreed sentencing should be adjourned until a later date, though the footballer is still allowed to drive.

His driving while disqualified conviction came because it is understood at the time he was stopped by police he did not know he had been convicted and banned from the roads for speeding – which he is now disputing.

Wan-Bissaka was convicted of speeding in his absence and disqualified from driving for six months at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on June 18, when he was out of the country in Spain.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Anthony Devlin/PA) (PA Wire)
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Anthony Devlin/PA) (PA Wire)

It is understood court letters for the speeding offence, dating back to September 2020, went to his old address in Croydon south London but he now lives in Manchester and the footballer was not aware of the driving ban, according to his spokesman.

He was then stopped while behind the wheel of his £160,000 Lamborghini Urus on June 23 in Manchester, where roadside police checks revealed, unbeknown to him, he had been banned from driving.

On Wednesday he admitted driving while disqualified, having no insurance and no valid licence. These are strict liability offences with no defence of ignorance of the charges, so he had to plead guilty.

His conviction for speeding was set aside or annulled, on August 20, and a trial date has been set for January 21 when it is understood he will say a friend was driving his car when the speeding offence was committed.

Wan-Bissaka is still allowed to drive until the trial, a spokesman for the footballer told the PA news agency.

Wan-Bissaka pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)
Wan-Bissaka pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

A further hearing will be held on September 16 in Manchester, when the speeding case and his latest disqualification case may be transferred to Skipton Magistrates’ Court.

Wan-Bissaka was given unconditional bail until later in the month.

Carl Gaffney, prosecuting, said at just before 11pm on June 23 a police patrol was on duty on Kingsway, Stockport, and stopped Wan-Bissaka, of Fletsand Road, Wilmslow, Cheshire, behind the wheel of his Lamborghini.

He said: “When Mr Wan-Bissaka was spoken to he was co-operative at the roadside; asked if he had insurance he answered, ‘As far as I am aware’ and he held a full UK driving licence.

“The officer carries out roadside checks and it becomes self-evident that Mr Wan-Bissaka had been disqualified from driving on June 18 2021, at West Yorkshire Magistrates’ Court, to 17 December.

“Throughout he was co-operative and cordial.

“He’s a man of no previous convictions whatsoever.”

Outside court Shaun Draycott, defending, said the defendant had been disqualified from driving in his absence as he was in Spain.

District Judge Begley told the defendant he would not sentence him for driving while disqualified, without insurance and a without a licence until the earlier speeding disqualification matter had been dealt with.

A further hearing on the speeding matter will be held at Skipton Magistrates’ Court on October 1, ahead of a trial on January 21.

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