Driving ban for Chloe Madeley

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The Independent Online

The daughter of television presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan has been disqualified from driving for 20 months, after flipping her car while nearly twice the legal drink-drive limit.

Chloe Madeley, 22, pleaded guilty to drink-driving but offered an excuse for her actions, claiming she had only decided to use her car because she “urgently required the services of a 24-hour chemist in relation to female products”.

Miss Madeley, whose parents hosted the successful chat show This Morning, was arrested after a crash in Barnet, north London, in the early hours of 16 August.

Hendon Magistrates’ Court today heard that her Peugot 206 had overturned after she clipped a parked car. She escaped unhurt and abandoned her car before walking home, telling police later she had been “dazed and shocked” and couldn’t remember how she got out.

When police arrived at the scene of the accident, checks confirmed Miss Madeley as its owner and led officers to her house, where she lives with her parents. She was taken to a north London police station where she took a breathalyser test, which found she was nearly twice the legal limit.

Alex Radley, mitigating, said his client had been out with friends earlier in the evening and had drunk two cocktails before returning home to watch television, where she did not drink anything else.

“In the early hours of the morning she urgently required the services of a 24-hour chemist in relation to female products, believing at this time she wouldn’t be over the limit,” he said.

“Just before the incident she realised that the car was parked at an unusual angle, pointed out onto the road, and the tyres were twisted. Unfortunately it was at late notice that she spotted this and too late to take any avoiding action.”

He added that she had walked to her nearby home, and had been about to call the police when they saved her the trouble by arriving on her doorstep.

“It’s a serious incident of drink driving,” said chair of the bench Clive Lewisohn. “You exposed the public, including yourself, to considerable danger. There was an accident. Thankfully nobody was injured. We find that there is no mitigation whatsoever for your driving with excess alcohol on this occasion.”

Miss Madeley was ordered to pay a total of £435, including £70 prosecution costs and £15 towards victims of crime. Her ban begins immediately, but will be reduced by five months if she takes a drink driving rehabilitation course.

The 22-year-old, who has been employed as a television presenter and a model, arrived at court wearing a black dress. She declined to comment after the hearing and left in a taxi accompanied by several security guards.

She is not the first person to give an excuse after committing a driving offence. In 1999, the Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was stopped for driving on a motorway hard shoulder, but insisted he had severe diarrhoea and needed to find a toilet.

In February, Miss Madeley’s parents were forced to publicly defend her after a Sunday newspaper published pictures of her smoking

cannabis at a party. The couple had earlier described their children as “incredibly anti-drugs”.