West Ham star Manuel Lanzini dodges ban despite driving £73K Porsche without licence or insurance

Just two weeks earlier, Manuel Lanzini dramatically survived a horror crash when his chauffeur-driven car flipped off the A12.
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West Ham football ace Manuel Lanzini swerved a driving ban despite being caught at the wheel of his £73,000 Porsche without a licence or insurance.

The star, who earns a reported £3.5 million a year playing for the Premier League club, instead escaped with £1,735 in fines and six penalty points on his licence.

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The Argentinian-born forward, 29, was behind the wheel when stopped by cops on January 27 this year in Aldgate, central London.

The father-of-one, who lives in a penthouse near the Tower of London, waved an Argentinian licence at officers before telling them he knew he should not be driving.

Lanzini, who has captained his country, said he knew he should not be on the road, but blamed the pandemic for his decision not to replace his invalid licence with a British one.

The star, who has clocked up a string of driving offences, admitted having no licence or insurance in a written plea using the little-known Single Justice Procedure, which allows people accused of minor offences to enter pleas remotely.

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The rules of the procedure meant he did not have to and did not show up for the 20-minute hearing at City of London Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Kate Hogarth, prosecuting for City of London Police, said: “At 3.14am on Thursday January 27 this year a Porsche was stopped by police in Aldgate.

“The driver was identified as this defendant.

“He produced an Argentinian driving licence and said he had been in the UK for four or five years.

“The defendant said he knew he should have a licence, but the pandemic had delayed the process of getting one.”

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In mitigation, Lanzini’s lawyer Mark Haslam told the court: “The defendant has an Argentinian driving licence which is still a valid document on the face of it.

“However, he has to exchange that document with a British licence if he has been in the UK for a certain amount of time.

“He should, as he freely admitted to the officer, taken steps to exchange his licence for a British one.

“The court will be aware that the DVLA has not covered itself in glory during the pandemic and many people put off their application for a licence.

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“When he was stopped by the officer he was frank with them and accepted that was the position.

“Because he did not have a licence he was not capable of being covered by the insurance.

The aftermath of the Manuel Lanzini crash on the A12. Credit: IG1IG2The aftermath of the Manuel Lanzini crash on the A12. Credit: IG1IG2
The aftermath of the Manuel Lanzini crash on the A12. Credit: IG1IG2

“On this occasion his wife had been taken ill. He took the decision to drive a very short distance to the pharmacy to get medication for her.

“It was a very short journey and an error of judgement.

“This was a heat of the moment decision; he should have taken a taxi or walked but chose to make the journey himself.

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“It was a very short distance and he has pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“He does not need to complete a means form. He is a wealthy man, but I am not going to give the bench a clue as to how wealthy.”

Magistrate Dr Lynne Gailey ordered Lanzini to pay a £1,500 fine, £85 court costs and a £150 victim surcharge. Six points were added to his licence.

Just two weeks ago the footballer survived a dramatic car smash when he walked free from the wreckage.

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He was being chauffeur-driven in a £170,000 Mercedes when it flipped over the A12 on March 31.

Lanzini has faced a string of driving offences since joining West Ham in 2015 - initially on loan before a £9m transfer - including speeding and driving without insurance.

He was banned from the road in August 2020 by Southend magistrates after racking up 12 points on his licence for speeding, the court was told.