TV host Ant McPartlin ‘ashamed and mortified’ by drink-driving crash
COURT: Star fined £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months
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 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.
“I’d like apologise to everybody involved in the crash and I’m just thankful no one was seriously hurt.”
Moments earlier a loud bang was heard as two cars passing along the road, near a large crowd of photographers gathered on the pavement, appeared to collide.
McPartlin pled guilty to driving with 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
Prosecutor Katie Sinnett-Jones 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.
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.
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.
“I accept full culpability for this and wish to apologise to all concerned.”
Mr McPartlin arriving at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court.