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Ant McPartlin fined £86k after pleading guilty to drink driving

The TV star must forfeit just over half his weekly £130,000 wage after admitting drink driving at Wimbledon Magistrates Court today

Ant McPartlin has been fined £86,000 after admitting drink driving.

The embattled star looked gaunt and stressed as he appeared before magistrates in Wimbledon today to answer the single charge.

After entering a guilty plea, the star - who earns £130,000 a week - was fined £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months.

The judge did not impose any community service sentence in light of his 'genuine remorse' and because he is 'seeking rehabilitation.'

He has 14 days within which to pay the fine and can get a reduction on his ban by taking a driving awareness course.

District Judge Barbara Barnes told McPartlin "you are a well-known and successful entertainer," whose weekly income is around £130,000 a week.
Sentencing him, she said: "At the time when it happened you were struggling with various personal problems and also alcohol issues for some months.

Read More
  • Ant McPartlin's grovelling apology in full as he blames marriage breakdown for drink-driving

McPartlin apologised for his actions after the hearing (Image: Getty Images Europe)

Court drawing of Ant McPartlin shows his grim expression in the dock (Image: Julia Quenzler / SWNS.com)

The shamed star appeared to be close to tears (Image: i-Images Picture Agency)

He has been fined £86,000 (Image: PA)

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

The judge described McPartlin'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."

Fining him, she said: "Because of the seriousness of this offence, the financial pain must be imposed on you as on any other offender."
McPartlin was also told to pay £255 in costs.

It emerged that he was twice the legal limit when he crashed with his mother Christine Woodhall in his car on March 18.

He has been banned from driving for 20 months (Image: Daily Mirror)

The TV star was flanked by police as he left the court (Image: Daily Mirror)

Prosecutor Katie Sinnett-Jones told Wimbledon Magistrates' Court on Monday that the incident happened at around 3.50pm when McPartlin drove his Mini around a "sharp bend and lost control" then ended up on the wrong side of the road.

He collided with another Mini Cooper before driving "straight into the front of an oncoming car".

McPartlin's vehicle "came to a halt and was no longer driveable due to the damage caused", Ms Sinnett-Jones said. Members of the public called the police.

The court heard how restaurant boss Faheem Vanoo, the driver of the other Mini, thought he and his family were going to die in the collision.

In a statement read by Ms Sinnett-Jones, he said: "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 court heard how the TV star had suffered a 'relapse' (Image: Daily Mirror)

His wife Shilpa suffered a split lip and their four-year-old daughter Amaira was subsequently taken to West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth, with her dad describing the 'whole experience' as 'a nightmare'.

In a statement to police, he apologised for his behaviour, admitting, "I'm very sorry I did this. I'm ashamed and mortified that this happened."

And his defence barrister Liam Walker told the court Ant had suffered a 'brief relapse' which was 'unbenknowst' to his mum, who moved into his rented Chiswick home following his split from wife Lisa Armstrong.

"Anthony McPartlin is sorry. He is doing everything he can so this never happens again. He hopes that in time he can make himself better and he might be forgiven by all the people he feels he has let down so terribly," Mr Walker continued.

He added that Ant had been struggling to come to terms with the collapse of his marriage and has been getting treatment for "alcohol and emotional issues".

Ant McPartlin’s wife Lisa Armstrong shows support for Britain's Got Talent magician Marc Spelmann after enduring own conception troubles

He appeared gaunt and stressed as he arrived for the hearing (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Ant entered a guilty plea (Image: Daily Mirror)

"Through me, Mr McPartlin wishes to express both sorrow and regret over his actions," Mr Walker 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."

Mr Walker spoke of McPartlin's "exemplary" character and charitable work, especially focusing on organisations that help children.

"Mr McPartlin is lucky to have both family and long-time friends to support him," he added.

Ant blew a breathalyser reading of 75mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath – the legal limit is 35 mcg.

He was arrested and interviewed by police for 10 hours on March 18 following the three car smash in Mortlake, South West London.

His £26,000 Mini was in collision with two other vehicles, one which was carrying a four-year-old girl who was subsequently taken to hospital.

He arrived with only his barrister for support (Image: Getty Images Europe)

He was spared jail (Image: REX/Shutterstock)

Restaurant boss Faheem Vanoo was with his family in one of the cars involved in the smash and told last month how Ant appeared to lose control on a bend.

He claimed: “His Mini came flying around a corner on the wrong side of the road trying to overtake a car. I hardly had time to react and turned in to the kerb to avoid a head-on collision.”

Recalling the moment of impact, Faheem, 41, claimed he managed to swerve at the last minute - a move he believes saved their lives.

"I hardly had time to react and turned in towards the kerb to avoid a head-on collision. I’m convinced that split-second turn of the wheel saved us all from being crippled or killed," he told The Sun.

“I don’t care whether he’s a millionaire and I don’t care whether he’s a famous TV star — he could have put my daughter in a wheelchair.”

Ant McPartlin is seen for first time since going to rehab as he arrives at court to face drink-drive charge

(Image: Daily Mirror)

(Image: Daily Mirror)

Describing how 'an enormous bang' jolted them around in the car, Feheem said he was only doing 20mph and that everyone - including his daughter - was wearing seatbelts.

Shilpa - whose lip was burst when her face smashed into a headrest - claimed she was so furious with Ant that she had to be restrained.

"I was so angry with him I lost my cool and tried to run up to him and smash his face — I had to be held back. After I calmed down someone asked him if he was ok but he never said a word to us and never apologised. The horn of his car was blaring and my little girl was crying in shock. It was a terrible, chaotic scene," she said.

Amaira was subsequently taken to West Middlesex Hospital in Isleworth, and her dad described the 'whole experience' as 'a nightmare'.

"It is not something that we ever expected, but we are just grateful that no one was hurt," he told the Daily Mail.

"'It has been a terrible experience and it feels like we are coming out of a nightmare. It has left us all a bit shaken up."

Three days after the smash, Ant was charged and then entered rehab for a second time.

He was originally due in court on April 4, however that date was pushed back amid claims he was in an 'intense' phase of his recovery.

"Court officials agreed to push the court date back because Ant is in intensive rehab right now," a source told The Sun.

(Image: REX/Shutterstock)

(Image: PA)

Read More

Ant McPartlin in court

  • Ant pleads guilty
  • His £86k sentence
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  • Seen for first time since rehab
  • Other driver thought Ant was dead
  • New car crash happens outside court
  • What happens to SNT?
  • Apology in full

"They're mindful of his personal problems and accept that he is taking pro-active steps to deal with those issues, which is a positive thing."

Following his arrest, Ant cancelled all work commitments for the 'foreseeable' future, including Saturday Night Takeaway and Britain's Got Talent.