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A London speeding case against former football star David Beckham was dropped on Thursday after his lawyer successfully argued that notice of the intended prosecution had not been served within the legal deadline.

Beckham was accused of driving a borrowed Bentley at 59 mph (95 kph) in a 40 mph (64 kph) zone in the Paddington area of London on Jan. 23. He had pleaded not guilty, with his lawyer saying the charge was “defective.”

Beckham’s lawyer Nick Freeman — nicknamed “Mr. Loophole” — argued that the notice arrived at Bentley Motors on Feb. 7, a day outside the statutory 14-day window.

District Judge Barbara Barnes said the notice had been sent Feb. 2 and “more likely than not” did not arrive within the 14 days. She said therefore “the defendant in this case cannot be convicted.”

During the defence, Freeman argued: “If the Crown can’t prove that the letter was sent by first class post then the concept that it arrives in two working days goes out of the window.

“It would be unsafe to allow these proceedings to go any further.”

Beckham, the former Manchester United and England star, did not attend Thursday’s hearing at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.

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