ENTERTAINMENT
16/04/2018 11:45 BST | Updated 16/04/2018 17:39 BST

Ant McPartlin Fined £86K After Pleading Guilty To Drink-Driving Charge In Court

He has also been banned from driving for 20 months.

Ant McPartlin has been fined £86,000 after pleading guilty to drink-driving in court. 

The TV presenter has also received a 20-month driving ban, £225 in costs and a £170 surcharge, after he attended a hearing at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on Monday (16 April). 

Ant only spoke to confirm his name, date of birth, address and nationality before entering his guilty plea, having been charged for crashing his car while twice over the legal limit on 18 March. 

His breathalyser test gave a reading of 75mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35 mcg.

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Ant McPartlin has pleaded guilty to a single charge of drink-driving

He said in a statement made to the police that was read out to the court: “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 those concerned.”

The collision in Richmond, South West London, involved two other cars, with one of them carrying a four-year-old girl who needed hospital treatment.

District Judge Barbara Barnes decided on the £86,000 fine after noting Ant is “a well-known and successful entertainer,” whose weekly income is around £130,000 a week.

“Because of the seriousness of this offence, the financial pain must be imposed on you as on any other offender,” she told him. 

“At the time when it happened you were struggling with various personal problems and also alcohol issues for some months.

“This incident happened, sadly, when it seems you suffered a brief relapse.”

The judge described Ant’s previous “exemplary character” adding: “I think it will have quite an impact on you to know you’re no longer a man of good character.”

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Ant was arrested after crashing his car while under the influence on 18 March

During the hearing, the court also heard how Ant was receiving treatment for “alcohol and emotional issues” at the time of the crash. 

His barrister Liam Walker told the district judge the incident was down to “a brief relapse unbeknownst” to his mother, who was travelling in the car with him. 

“Anthony McPartlin is sorry and is doing everything he can to ensure this never happens again,” Mr Walker said.

“He hopes that in time he can make himself better and that he might be forgiven by all of the many people he knows and he feels he has let down terribly.”

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Ant faced a scrum of photographers as he arrived at The Court House in Wimbledon

He continued: “He is sorry, but not sorry because he is here.

“He knows it is right that he’s here and he hopes that which has led him here will eventually help him, but for good fortune the consequences could have been worse. He feels the guilt that is reflected in his plea.”

Ant’s statement read to the court, in full: 

“I accept that on 18 of March 2018 I drove a vehicle on the lower Richmond Road whilst under the influence of alcohol.

“I’m 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.

“I appreciate that by being in the public eye higher levels of behaviour are expected of me and that it’s important that I set a positive example to others.

“I am incredibly disappointed that I have let myself and so many others down on this occasion.

“I am addressing what I now recognise as problems with alcohol and emotional issues.

“I recognise that I need to deal with these.

“As a consequence, I have sought immediate professional help and support to ensure that nothing of this nature happens again.”

During the hearing, prosecutor Katie Sinnett-Jones detailed the crash, stating Ant was driving around a “sharp bend and lost control”, at which point he ended up on the wrong side of the road and collided with another Mini Cooper, before driving “straight into the front of an oncoming car”.

She said Ant’s vehicle “came to a halt and was no longer driveable due to the damage caused”, with members of the public calling the police.

The driver of the Mini said afterwards that they thought they would die in the collision.

He said, in a statement read by Ms Sinnett-Jones: “Myself and my family were in deep shock as we believed we could have died as as a result of Mr McPartlin’s reckless driving.”

 

The 42-year-old faced a scrum of photographers and reporters as he arrived at the court building in south-west London, which was guarded by seven police officers.

After the hearing, Ant told reporters outside court he is “truly sorry for what happened”. 

“Higher standards are expected of me. I let myself down, I let a lot of people down, for that I’m truly sorry,” he said.

“I’d like to apologise to everyone involved in the crash and I’m just thankful no-one was seriously hurt.”

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Ant read out a statement outside court following the hearing

He was originally due to appear in court on 4 April, but the case was adjourned earlier this month.  

Since his arrest, Ant has stood down from all TV commitments for the foreseeable future and returned to rehab for treatment, having spent time there last year for an addiction to pain killers.

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Declan Donnelly is continuing the pair's TV commitments without Ant

His co-host Declan Donnelly has gone on to host the remaining episodes of the latest series of ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ without Ant, while last week, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ bosses also confirmed Dec will host the live stages of the show solo

Ant still featured in Saturday’s (14 April) series opener, as all the auditions had completed filming prior to his arrest. 

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