Ex-boxing champ jailed

Former British and European heavyweight boxing champion Matt Skelton was jailed today after a court heard he attempted to pervert the course of justice to avoid speeding fines.

A judge at Cambridge Crown Court gave Skelton a five-month prison term and said the fighter had been ``arrogant'' and thought himself ``above the law'' .

Skelton, 43, of High Street in Wilden, Bedfordshire, admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice three times between November 2006 and August 2008 after his Porsche car - which had a personalised number plate - was clocked speeding.

The court was told that on all three occasions Skelton falsely named ``car valet Brian Williams'' as the driver and gave at least one false address.

Skelton, who had initially denied any wrongdoing, was arrested after police concluded that there was ``no locatable Brian Williams''.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth said Skelton, who was given legal aid to pay lawyers, was a ``role model'' and the court had to ``set an example' ' to show that ``no-one is above the law'' .

The judge handed down a five-month term for each offence and said all three terms would run concurrently. He said Skelton would be eligible for release on licence after serving half of the five-month sentence.

``You are a role model to the public, particularly in Bedford and Bedfordshire, and you knew that you were,'' the judge told Skelton.

``One deception in your case may be forgivable but not three over a long period of time.''

Prosecutors said Skelton was clocked travelling at 44mph in a 30mph zone in November 2006 and at 37mph in a 30mph zone and 41mph in a 30mph zone in August 2008 - and would not have been facing a driving ban.

``I accept that you committed these offences in an arrogant manner,'' said Judge Hawkesworth.

``I take the view that you committed these offences because, in your own view of your own status, you were above the law.''

He added: ``The fact that there was no need for you to do what you did emphasises what a cynical offence this was.''

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