Ant McPartlin fined £86,000 for drink driving

    Ant McPartlin fined £86,000 for drink driving

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    Popular Saturday night entertainer Ant McPartlin (of Ant and Dec fame) got in to the news recently when he was arrested for drink driving on 18th March 2018 after being involved in a three car collision.

    On 16th April 2018 he appeared in the Magistrates’ Court, where he pleaded guilty to drink driving. When he was breathalysed, his reading was 75mg (more that twice the legal limit of 35).

    Sentence was passed on the day, which is not unusual. Mr McPartlin was fined, which was again unusual. What is unusual was the level of the fine – a huge £86,000.

    It used to be the case that the maximum fine in the Magistrates’ Court was £5,000, but this was changed in 2015 for offences committed after 12th March 2015, and there is now no limit to the level of the fine.

    There are guidelines on sentencing in drink drive cases and a guide to fining people, both of which make clear that account should be taken of someone’s income.

    Which is why, with a weekly income of £130,000, Mr McPartlin got such a large hit. He would also have had to pay a surcharge and prosecution costs, both of which would have paled in to significant in light of the fine.

    He was also disqualified for 20 months, which is also in line with what we can expect.

    So next time someone asks if celebrities get a good deal from the court, you can point to Mr McPartlin as in indication that they are treated as everyone else would be.

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    10 COMMENTS

    1. So how does it work if somebody is living off capital? Say for example, somebody has been recently been made redundant from a well-paid job and has also accepted an offer for another well-paid job to start soon, but for the time being has low income (maybe some bank interest). Does the definition of relevant weekly income constrain the court to treat them as a pauper, or does it get some discretion in the matter?

      https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/explanatory-material/item/fines-and-financial-orders/approach-to-the-assessment-of-fines-2/3-definition-of-relevant-weekly-income/

    2. On the face of it, Mr McPartlin was treated leniently by th DJ(MC). Taking the report at face value, driving OPL with a reading of 75ug is a band C fine. I would increase the starting point for the aggravating accident, but ignoring that, Mr McPartkin is reported to earn £130,000 per week. £130,000 x 150% (band C) less 1/3 for a guilty plea = £130,000. I’d like to,know how the DJ calculated only £86,000.

      • I couldn’t comment on how the DJ decided which band was appropriate to use. But regarding the calculation, the £86k (approx 66%) presumably arose as the result of the band B fine (100%) reduced for guilty plea (with possibly a little rounding in the defendant’s favour).

    3. Just to check – in your opinion would a non-celeb of similar age/previous good character etc also not receive a custodial sentence for committing such an offence (ie over limit by approx same amount, similar circumstances re crash, etc)?

      • PS

        Same question re community order.

        Also – seems some people believe Ant wasn’t given community order due largely/solely to his charity work (the implication being a non-celeb non-charity patron *would* have been given an order). Do such people have a point?

        • You can read the sentencing guidelines for yourself here: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/offences/item/excess-alcohol-driveattempt-to-drive-revised-2017/

          A reading below 90ug is unlikely to be punished by a community order, you won’t get custody unles the reading is 120ug, unless of course there are other aggravating factors. Even then, there may be mitigating factors to consider.

          As I outlined above I think Mr McPartlin was treated leaniently, but only because (in my view) the fine was too small, but a fine is the appropriate punishment for the 75ug reading.

          • There are clearly both aggravating and mitigating features on the list present. Aggravating: (1) involved in accident; (2) poor driving standard (if the testimony of one of the other drivers in the accident is accepted). Mitigating: (1) no previous convictions; (2) remorse; (3) good character (although this somewhat overlaps with 1). As I said above, the DJ seems to have calculated based on a band B fine — and this as you say from a band C starting point. Without having been there myself, I really couldn’t comment on whether it was fair to assess that the mitigation outweighed the aggravation in this way. But on the above information, it certainly doesn’t seem outside the range of possibilities.

    4. The level of this fine is yet one more sure indicator of HM Treasury seeking to maximise revenues to meet the spiralling costs of servicing the so-called “National Debt”.

        • Not all, but the courts are used as a way of raising revenue (not that I disagree with the size of the fine in this case as he can afford it).

          And there have been quite a few bad decisions in general coming out of the courts this year.

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