Charlie Wooldridge, son of the late Ian Wooldridge and heir to the Wooldridge Group, has been fined £3,800 and banned from driving for three years.
Wooldridge was spotted speeding in his Porche in Ascot, Berkshire, on June 3. When police pulled him over, the court clerk told magistrates, “He seemed unsteady on his feet. He was swaying slightly and his breath smelled of alcohol.”
In mitigation, his lawyer, David Savell, noted the significant impact that the death of his father had on Wooldridge. On another court appearance during a legal battle with his step-mother, he had said “I’ve been grieving and so I’ve done a lot of things I shouldn’t have done. I spent stupid money and that’s the way I dealt with it, but I don’t do it anymore.”
Ian Wooldridge died in a helicopter crash in 2010 as he returned from a pheasant shoot.
In the current case, Savell said: “I have said to Charlie that this really needs to be the last bump in the road.
“He recognises that with his new position in the Wooldridge group and that he is now a father, it has to be the last time.”
It was also noted by Savell that Wooldridge was seeking help with alcohol and, in addition to the deep effect of his father’s death, he was suffering great stress following taking up his new position in the company.
“He was a professional sports player […] After the tragic accident when he lost his father in a helicopter crash he gave up his polo career to be commercial director of his father’s business.”
In a previous case, Wooldridge appeared before the courts on a charge of drunk and disorderly conduct in 2012.
Judge Shomon Khan said “Driving with excess alcohol is always a serious offence. Regrettably, there are other drink-driving matters which make it very serious.
“But I have been persuaded by your lawyer that you will never be back before the court.”
Wooldridge was fined £3,800 and banned from driving for three years.
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