TV PRESENTER Ant McPartlin was banned from driving for 20 months and fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to drink driving at Wimbledon Magistrates Court today.
The 42-year-old host of Saturday Night takeaway and I’m a Celebrity: Get Me Out of Here was arrested and charged on March 18 after being involved in a collision with two other cars while driving his Mini in Richmond, London.
Prosecutor Katie Sinnett-Jones told the court that McPartlin lost control on a sharp bend on the Lower Richmond Road. He crossed into the oncoming lane and collided with another Mini Cooper before driving straight into the front of another car.
McPartlin’s vehicle was no longer driveable as a result of the damage sustained.
The driver of one of the cars told the court, via a witness statement, that he and his wife “could have died as a result of Mr McPartlin’s reckless driving”, while another said he came round the corner like “a rocket”.
The court heard that McPartlin was more than double the drink drive limit at the time.
In a letter read out in court, McPartlin said he is “ashamed and mortified” and “accepts full culpability”.
He also acknowledge that people in the public eye should provide a positive example to others and that he had let himself “and so many others down”. His court appearance was a “turning point” for him, he said.
Speaking to reporters he said he was thankful that no-one was seriously hurt.
“I’m truly sorry for what happened… I’m just thankful nobody was seriously hurt” – TV presenter Ant McPartlin after being fined for drink driving
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews)
McPartlin’s barrister said his client had been seeking help for “alcohol and emotional issues” at the time of the crash, adding that his mother was in the car with him.
He told the judge the incident was down to “a brief relapse unbeknownst to his passenger”.
The hearing was initially scheduled for Monday, April 4, but was postponed for two weeks while McPartlin sought rehabilitation treatment. McPartlin has also been taking time off from his TV commitments.
McPartlin’s driving ban can be reduced to 15 months if he completes a drink drive referral programme by mid-May 2019.