Guy Ritchie gets six-month driving ban after cyclist videos him texting while behind wheel of his Range Rover in Hyde Park and reports him to police
- The film director, 51, was seen by cyclist Mike van Erp in London on his phone
- He wound down window when he was spotted declaring ‘hello my friend’
- But Mr van Erp was recording him and handed the footage to the Met Police
- Ritchie was banned from driving on Tuesday after admitting breaking law
Guy Ritchie has been banned from driving after an angry cyclist caught him behind the wheel texting on his phone.
The Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels director, 51, was clocked by biker Mike van Erp in Hyde Park.
He alerted the police and videoed Ritchie – who used to be married to Madonna – on the phone in his car.
Footage of the encounter showed him going up to his black Range Rover and ticking him off over the law breach.
Mr van Erp’s video shows him approaching the film director’s car in Hyde Park in London
Ritchie appeared to be stationary in his motor in a traffic queue with Apple headphones in to make legal calls hands-free.
Mr van Erp handed Met Police officers and told them he had seen him texting on the road that cuts through the park.
The incident happened at about 1pm on November 3 last year. In the video, Ritchie is waiting in traffic backed-up through the park.
Ritchie pleaded guilty in writing to the offence, and was banned from driving for six months by Bromley magistrates on Tuesday.
In a statement Mr van Erp said: ‘I spotted this driver texting on his phone. I stopped and whilst waiting for traffic to clear could clearly see the driver typing on his phone. I then crossed to the driver’s side where I saw his iPhone lit up with the classic blue and grey message bubbles of Apple iMessage, with text, and a message in process of being typed but not sent.’
The incident happened at about 1pm on November 3 last year in London’s Hyde Park
Cyclist Mike van Erp recording himself going up to the director’s Range Rover to confront him
Ritchie is shown oblivious as the cyclist corners his target, with his mobile still in hand
The video shows him going up the director and saying: ‘Clear messages open here, oh dear.’
Ritchie rolls down his window and says ‘Hello my friend’ to which Mr van Erp relied ‘Shalom’.
He added: ‘I don’t think you should be doing your text messages while you are driving, I saw you doing it back there as well.’
The traffic starts moving so he moves out of the way, then goes to catch up Ritchie again, who has now wound up his window.
Mr van Erp told him ‘Clear messages open here, oh dear’ before Ritchie rolled down window
Mr van Erp then says ‘I guess he doesn’t want to talk anymore’ before the video ends.
The Evening Standard said the case was dealt with behind closed doors under the Single Justice Procedure, to avoid a full court hearing, with a court official and a magistrate assessing the papers.
Ritchie, who already had points on his licence said he would not be contesting a driving ban and offered no mitigation for the offence through a letter from his lawyer.
He pleaded guilty to using a handheld mobile phone/device while driving a motor vehicle on a road and was given six points and ordered to pay a £666 fine, as well as £166 in prosecution costs and court fees.
Mr van Erp, 48, said he started filming and reporting drivers on a GoPro helmet camera after his father was killed in a crash.
His footage has led to scores of drivers facing prosecution.
He said: ‘I had no idea it was him. I pulled up beside him on my bicycle and told him he was using his mobile.
‘He said he had stopped in traffic. Drivers should not be doing this and people like me serve as a deterrent.’