Ant McPartlin apologises for drink-driving and is fined £86,000 after Richmond crash when he was twice legal limit

TV presenter Ant McPartlin said in a sombre address that he was “truly sorry” for letting down family, friends and fans in his drink-driving crash.

The 42-year-old spoke outside Wimbledon Magistrate’s where he was fined £86,000 and banned from driving for 20 months after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

He was twice the legal limit when he was involved in a collision with two other cars while driving his Mini in Richmond.

The court was told the charge states he had 75 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes per 100 millilitres of breath.

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.”

Sorry: Anthony McPartlin outside The Court House in Wimbledon (PA)

Wearing a black three-piece suit, white shirt and black tie, McPartlinhad earlier stood in the glass dock in court and spoke to confirm his name, date of birth, address and nationality before pleading guilty to a single charge of drink-driving.

The court heard that in a statement to police 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 those concerned.”

District Judge Barbara Barnes told McPartlin “you are a well-known and successful entertainer,” whose weekly income is around £130,000 a week.

‘Ashamed’: Ant addressing media outside court (PA)

Sentencing him, she said: “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 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.”

Ant McPartlin fined and banned from driving after pleading guilty to drink driving

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.

Prosecutor Katie Sinnett-Jones told the court the crash happened at around 3.50pm on March 18 on Lower Richmond Road.

She said Mr McPartlin was driving around a “sharp bend and lost control” at which point he ended up on the wrong side of the road.

Ant McPartlin arrives at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court charged with drink-driving (Getty Images)

He collided with another Mini Cooper car 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” she said. Members of the public called the police.

The driver of the Mini car said afterwards, the court heard, that they thought they would die in the collision.

Car crash interrupts BBC coverage of Ant McPartlin drink-drive court hearing

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.”

McPartlin’s barrister Liam Walker 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 district judge the incident was down to “a brief relapse unbeknownst to his passenger”.

McPartlin has said he is “ashamed and mortified” by what happened

“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.”

McPartlin was met by a waiting pack of photographers and television cameras when he arrived at the court on Monday.

Prime time: Scarlett Moffatt with Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly on Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV)

He stepped out of a black Mercedes people carrier to face the media scrum as he walked up the steps at the main entrance to the court building in south-west London, which was guarded by seven police officers.

McPartlin, who lives in Chiswick, west London, was arrested at around 4pm on March 18 after a failing a roadside breathalyser test following a collision between the Mini he was driving and two other cars.

The Metropolitan Police previously confirmed that a number of individuals were treated at the scene for minor injuries, and a child passenger from one of the cars was taken to hospital to be checked as a precaution.

McPartlin was charged by postal requisition of March 21, three days after he was arrested.

After he was charged, ITV announced the Saturday Night Takeaway host would step back from his TV commitments, with co-presenter Declan Donnelly hosting the final two episodes of the show on his own.

McPartlin appeared alongside Donnelly on TV screens over the weekend as Britain’s Got Talent aired its pre-recorded audition shows. But ITV confirmed Donnelly will be hosting the live shows without his TV partner of almost 30 years.

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