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TV star Ant McPartlin, best known for presenting “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” and “Saturday Night Takeaway” has said he is “truly sorry” after a drink driving crash which he says he let down his friends, his family, and his fans.

The 42-year-old told police he was “ashamed and mortified” following the crash in which he was drink driving with his mother in the passenger seat.

Sentencing McPartlin at Wimbledon Crown Court, District Judge Barbara Barnes told the star his behaviour had left fans disappointed and stripped him of his former “exemplary” character.

The court had heard how at the time of the crash in Richmond, West London, McPartlin had been seeking help for “alcohol and emotional issues” having recently split from his partner of eleven years.

Katie Sinnett-Jones, prosecuting, described how his black Mini crashed into two other cars after he lost control of his vehicle taking a sharp bend at “considerable speed”.

He first hit another Mini Cooper before driving “Straight into the front of an oncoming car” driven by a doctor and her nine-year-old son. Upon his arrest, he was found to have 75mcg alcohol per 100ml breath. The legal limit is 35mcg.

The doctor, named only as Dr Ng, said in a statement: “Myself and my family were in deep shock as we believed we could have died as a result of Mr McPartlin’s reckless driving.”

She also said that she immediately looked over at her son in the moments following the crash to check he was OK, and he said: “I’m dying, mummy, I’m dying.”

“I saw he was physically fine with no major injuries, but in shock,” she said in the statement.

“He described how the car was coming around the corner ‘like a rocket’.”

“I’m horrified at how someone can drive so dangerously. I genuinely thought the driver of the black Mini had died as there was no movement and it was a really forceful crash,” she added.

Following the sentencing, McPartlin released a statement saying: “I just want to say I’m truly sorry for what happened.

“High standards are expected of me, I expect them of myself. I’ve let myself down, I let a lot of people down. And for that, I am truly sorry.

“I’d like apologise to everybody involved in the crash and I’m just thankful no-one was seriously hurt.”

Mitigating for McPartlin, barrister Liam Walker said his client had been seeking treatment for “alcohol and emotional issues” at the time of the crash, adding that his mother was in the car with him. He said the incident was down to “a brief relapse unbeknownst to his passenger”.

Following the crash, McPartlin issued a statement to police saying: “I am very sorry I did this. I am ashamed and mortified that this happened.

“I accept full culpability for this and wish to apologise to all concerned.”

Following the charges against him, broadcaster ITV announced the host would be stepping back from his TV commitments, with his co-presenter and TV partner of over thirty years Declan Donnelly presenting remaining live shows of Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain’s Got Talent on his own.

McPartlin was banned from the roads for 20 months and handed an £86,000 fine, eclipsing the previous highest known fine for drink-driving handed to footballer Yaya Toure in 2016.

LEARN MORE: If you would like to know more about our drink driving defence services and how Freeman & Co. can help your case, just click the link.


Drink Driving Footballer Banned And Fined After Failing To Appear In Court

An “arrogant” footballer who formerly played for Wrexham FC and West Bromwich Albion has been banned from the roads for twenty months after being caught drink driving.

26-year-old James Hurst was arrested in Wrexham in December and scheduled to attend court in early April. He failed to attend his hearing and an arrest warrant was issued. He subsequently pleaded guilty to failing to surrender bail.

Arresting officer PC Sarah Smith told Llandudno Magistrates court: “He stated ‘I’m a millionaire, I will take the ban and pay the fine. I don’t give a f***’. I would describe his attitude as arrogant.”

Hurst also boasted “I’m a star” before goading officers to Google him.

“He showed no remorse for what he had been arrested for,” added PC Smith.

He told the court that he had no income or savings, and that he missed his original court date because he was “otherwise engaged”. When the millionaire was accused of incorrectly filling out his income form, he told the court chairman “that’s your problem”.

Magistrates fined Hurst £770 for drink driving, £330 for being drunk and disorderly, £330 failing to surrender bail and must also pay £877 in costs.

LEARN MORE: If you would like to know more about our drink driving defence services and how Freeman & Co. can help your case, just click the link.


Drug Driver Fined After Overturning Car

A 24-year-old drug driver has been handed a 12-month driving ban after overturning his uninsured car while driving without a license in Throckmorton.

Jack Rowley, who admitted to drug driving at Worcester Magistrates Court, overturned his car on October 27th, 2017 in Long Lane, causing a loud bang which was heard by nearby police.

Officers were quick to the scene of the overturned car, said Colette Orton for the prosecution, with Rowley passing a breathalyser test. The officers still had cause for concern, however, due to his strange demeanour and being unable to recall his own address.

Rowley admitted he had smoked cannabis earlier that day, and so he was taken to hospital for testing which revealed he had traces of the drug in his system.

Mrs Orton said: “This causes a distortion of place and time and would slow reaction times, and generally reduce and impair someone’s ability to drive.”

Mitigating for Rowley, Barry Newton brought forward the fact his client had no previous convictions, and that circumstances prior to Rowley’s incident had influenced his actions. Rowley had recently fallen out with his family, leading him to have no permanent address.

Rowley had bought the uninsured car for little money and needed it as a place for him to sleep. The only person injured in this event was Rowley himself, Newton added.

“I asked him why he found himself to be in Throckmorton. He told me, as he had not had a car for a while, he made the mistake of going for a drive.” Said Mr Newton.

For the drug-driving charges, Rowley was issued a 12-month driving ban, with an additional fine of £120. With additional court costs and charges, the total financial penalty totalled £285, which Rowley is to pay in instalments of £20 per month. There was no separate penalty for driving without a license or insurance.

LEARN MORE: If you would like to know more about our drug driving defence services and how Freeman & Co. can help your case, just click the link.


Mobile Phone Driver Avoids Ban Despite Having 16 Points

A Northumbria man has avoided a driving ban despite totting up 16 points on his license after being caught using his mobile phone at the wheel.

Gateshead Magistrates Court heard that Gavin Hetherington, 26, was spotted driving at 50mph on the A1 and seen looking down at his phone in his lap on several occasions for 5 seconds at a time

A member of the press was travelling with officers from Northumbria Police’s Operation Dragoon team and Hetherington was caught on camera saying that he had not in fact been using his phone but picking glass off the broken screen.

Hetherington pleaded not guilty to using his mobile phone at the wheel, and also not guilty to careless driving. He was found guilty of the first charge.

Prosecuting, Sue Baker told the court that a journalist and photographer from the ChronicleLive team has been on patrol with officers in an unmarked car on September 27, 2017.

“PC Longstaff was on mobile patrol at 1.55pm,” Ms Baker told the court.

“There was another officer present, who was driving the vehicle.

“It was an unmarked police vehicle and in the back there was a journalist from the Evening Chronicle and a photographer.

“The reason they were travelling with police officers is because PC Longstaff is involved with Operation Dragoon, which is a team dedicated to dealing with dangerous driving.

“Northumbria Police had invited the journalist and cameraman to accompany them on patrol, looking for drivers using their mobile phones while driving.

The officers drew the journalist’s attention to Hetherington’s Vauxhall Astra as it travelled southbound on the A1 past Gosforth.

He was observed by everyone in the police car repeatedly looking down at his lap for up to five seconds at a time.

“The driver’s attention was not on the road and, in due course, he was stopped. The defendant was in possession of two mobile phones and one had a cracked screen,” Ms Baker continued.

“He accepted when interviewed that he had been picking the cracks and broken glass on the screen.”

PC Longstaff gave evidence at the hearing, stating that Hetherington had been so distracted by his mobile phone that he had failed to spot the officers driving alongside him for a “considerable distance”.

“The driver had his head down, not looking at the road and then, five seconds later, he would look up before looking back down again,” said PC Longstaff.

“That’s a prime example of someone looking at their phone. He continued this behaviour for quite some time until we decided to pull him over.”

While Hetherington admitted pulling two bits off glass off the broken screen of his phone, he denied it amounted to using the device.

The Avon Cosmetics salesman insisted he was only distracted for “one or two seconds” and was a “safe and competent” driver who travelled around 3,000 miles a month for the company.

“The officer was pleasant and was offering advice when he spoke to me at the side of the road. He then said he was going to have a word with me in front of the Chronicle,” Hetherington told the court.

“Literally, he then just changed and started going down on us – he changed from one person to another. I felt, at first, I was getting educated then, when in front of the Chronicle, I was getting really told off. I felt like I was being made an example of just for the Chronicle to have something to write about.”

While Hetherington was cleared of careless driving, magistrates convicted him of using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Having been convicted of three speeding offences prior to the hearing, Hetherington already had 10 points on his license, with the mobile phone driving conviction adding a further 6 points. This should have meant an automatic six-month ban under the current totting rules.

Hetherington successfully argued, however, that a ban would cause him to suffer exceptional hardship as losing his license would result in the loss of his job and also, therefore, his home.

Magistrates fined him £190 for using his mobile phone at the wheel, as well as costs of £625.

LEARN MORE: If you would like to know more about our mobile phone defence services and how Freeman & Co. can help your case, just click the link.

About Freeman & Co.

Freeman & Co. are a specialist firm of road traffic and criminal defence solicitors based in Manchester but with nationwide coverage.

Freeman & Co. specialise in a wide variety of road traffic cases, ranging from drink driving, speeding and mobile phone offences, to name but a few.

The firm was created by Nick Freeman, who has been dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the press for his technical legal ability and robustly challenging the prosecution.

Nick is well regarded as an expert road traffic lawyer and has successfully represented many high profile clients for a variety of motoring offences as well as criminal offences.

The firm of Freeman & Co. embodies the way Nick works, with minute attention to detail and challenging the prosecution at every turn.

If you are facing a road traffic matter or criminal offence and need the services of Freeman & Co. please call on 0161 236 7007.

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