Ex-boxing champ jailed

10 December 2010, 16:44 | Updated: 10 December 2010, 16:47

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.''