Ant ‘truly sorry’ af­ter drink-drive record fine of £86,000

Yorkshire Post - - FRONT PAGE -

TV pre­sen­ter Ant McPartlin has said he is “truly sorry” af­ter his drink-driv­ing crash let down his fam­ily, friends and fans.

The £130,000-a-week star was banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000 af­ter plead­ing guilty to driv­ing while more than twice the le­gal limit.

McPartlin, 42, told po­lice he was “ashamed and mor­ti­fied” af­ter crash­ing his car while drink-driv­ing with his mother in the pas­sen­ger seat.

Wim­ble­don Mag­is­trates’ Court heard that McPartlin had been seek­ing help for “al­co­hol and emo­tional is­sues” at the time of the crash in Rich­mond, west Lon­don, on March 18, hav­ing re­cently split from his part­ner of 11 years.

Sen­tenc­ing McPartlin yes­ter­day, Dis­trict Judge Barbara Barnes told him his be­hav­iour had left fans dis­ap­pointed and stripped him of his for­mer “ex­em­plary” char­ac­ter.

His £86,000 fine eclipses the £54,000 im­posed on Manch­ester City foot­baller Yaya Toure for the same of­fence in 2016, re­ported at the time to be the big­gest sanc­tion of its kind in the UK.

Speak­ing on the court steps fol­low­ing sen­tenc­ing, McPartlin said: “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.”

McPartlin pleaded guilty to driv­ing with 75 mi­cro­grammes of al­co­hol in 100 millil­itres of breath. The le­gal limit is 35 mi­cro­grammes.

Prose­cu­tor Katie Sin­net­tJones said his black Mini hit two other cars af­ter los­ing con­trol as he drove around a sharp bend at “con­sid­er­able speed”.

He col­lided with an­other Mini Cooper be­fore driv­ing “straight into the front of an on­com­ing car” – a BMW with a doc­tor and her nine-year-old son on board.

The other Mini driver 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.”

Wear­ing a black three-piece suit, white shirt and black tie, McPartlin lis­tened in­tently and nod­ded in the dock as the case against him was out­lined.

His 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 told the dis­trict judge the in­ci­dent was down to “a brief re­lapse un­be­knownst to his pas­sen­ger”.

The court heard that in a state­ment to po­lice days af­ter the crash, McPartlin said: “I am very sorry I did this. I am ashamed and mor­ti­fied that this hap­pened.”

Af­ter McPartlin, of Chiswick, Lon­don, was charged, ITV said the Satur­day Night Take­away host would step back from his TV com­mit­ments, with co-pre­sen­ter De­clan Don­nelly work­ing alone.

OFF THE ROAD: Ant McPartlin leaves Wim­ble­don Mag­is­trates’ Court af­ter be­ing sen­tenced for driv­ing while more than twice the le­gal limit.

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