City ex­ec­u­tive hit five cars af­ter cham­pagne at hus­band’s birth­day

Daily Mail - - Life - By Chris­tian Gysin

A CITY ex­ec­u­tive col­lided with five cars while twice the drink- drive limit af­ter drink­ing cham­pagne and wine at her hus­band’s 40th birth­day party, a court heard. Mother- of- two Gemma Hewes, 40, begged res­i­dents not to call the police af­ter she crashed her Land Rover Dis­cov­ery, which had young chil­dren in the back.

Hewes, a prop­erty direc­tor with City firm BNP Paribas Real Es­tate, dam­aged five cars, in­clud­ing a parked Re­nault Es­pace that was writ­ten off.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened on the evening of May 7 in a quiet res­i­den­tial street in Wim­ble­don, south-west Lon­don.

De­spite her pleas for lo­cals not to alert police, they had al­ready di­alled 999 and she was ar­rested at the £1.15 mil­lion home she shares with her hus­band Ross Hewes, 40, in nearby South­fields.

Ap­pear­ing be­fore Wim­ble­don mag­is­trates, Hewes pleaded guilty to driv­ing with ex­cess al­co­hol and driv­ing with­out due care and at­ten­tion. The Banned: Gemma Hewes court heard that Hewes – who at­tended the £35,000-a-year Wold­ing­ham School in Surrey – had 74 mi­cro­grams of al­co­hol in 100 millil­itres of breath. The le­gal limit is 35.

The im­pact of the crash snapped the steer­ing col­umn of the Land Rover, and it had to be towed away from the scene by a re­cov­ery ve­hi­cle.

The drink- driv­ing episode came al­most two years af­ter Hewes was re­cruited by BNP Paribas from her pre­vi­ous job as a City leas­ing ad­viser with Deloitte Real Es­tate. Hewes was fined a to­tal of £1,350 with £85 costs. She was also or­dered to pay a £90 vic­tim sur­charge and was dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for 17 months.

The court heard that at the time of the ac­ci­dent there were ‘two or three’ chil­dren in the Land Rover, but it was un­clear if any of them were hers.

Out­lin­ing the case, pros­e­cu­tor Paul Poul­ter told the court that com­pany direc­tor Stephen Hols­grove, 57, heard a loud bang out­side his home at 8.15pm. ‘His ve­hi­cle and four other cars were dam­aged and he saw a woman wear­ing jeans try­ing to get two chil­dren out of the Land Rover,’ he said.

‘She then said, “Please don’t call the police... I’ve had a few glasses of wine.” Police of­fi­cers traced her to her home, where she was cry­ing and up­set.

‘She told the of­fi­cers: “I was driv­ing and us­ing my hands free and hit a car.” She had been in Wim­ble­don, where she said she had a glass of cham­pagne and two glasses of wine.’

The court was told Hewes had been out with fam­ily and friends to cel­e­brate the 40th birth­day of her hus­band, who is a direc­tor with G L Hearn, part of Capita Real Es­tate.

Tom Dunn, de­fend­ing, told the court: ‘This is a very dark day for Gemma Hewes and her fam­ily. She is not a drinker and she rarely drinks. But on this oc­ca­sion she con­sumed some al­co­hol and did not re­alise she was im­paired by al­co­hol at the time she drove.’

The court heard how Hewes had not been able to eat solid food af­ter a re­cent op­er­a­tion and was also on med­i­ca­tion.

Mr Dunn added: ‘She re­ceived a tele­phone call via Blue­tooth and an­swered and spoke for sev­eral min­utes.

‘She re­calls a parked car pro­trud­ing and ob­vi­ously over­com­pen­sated and the steer­ing col­umn then broke and she was un­able to avoid con­tact with other cars. Dam­age is be­ing met by the fam­ily out of their own pock­ets and they both work ex­tremely hard.’

Mag­is­trate Iso­bel Vass told Hewes: ‘By good luck no one was step­ping out and you were dis­tracted and that is re­lated to your al­co­hol con­sump­tion.

‘Any­thing more than one small glass of wine will put you over the limit.’

‘I’ve had a few glasses of wine’

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