TV presenter Ant McPartlin has said he is “truly sorry” for drink-driving and, according to his lawyer, hopes in time “he might be forgiven”.
The 42-year-old was fined £86,000 at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court yesterday – said to be the biggest penalty ever imposed for drink-driving – and given a 20-month driving ban, the BBC says.
McPartlin was driving his mother in a Mini in Richmond, south London, on 18 March when he crashed into two other vehicles. The court was told he was twice the legal drink-drive limit.
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The crash happened when the presenter was in the midst of a brief relapse from a period of sobriety which began after he sought treatment for “alcohol and emotional issues”. His mother was said not to know he had been drinking.
Sentencing, Judge Barbara Barnes noted that McPartlin had enjoyed an “exemplary character” previously and added: “I think it will have quite an impact on you to know you’re no longer a man of good character.”
Speaking outside court, McPartlin said: “I let myself down. I let a lot of people down and for that I’m truly sorry.”
McPartlin will not present the live shows in the new series of Britain’s Got Talent. Instead his usual on-screen partner Declan Donnelly will appear alone.
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