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Christie loses crash sentence plea

Olympic sprint champion Linford Christie has lost a challenge against an order banning him from the roads for 15 months for careless driving.

The 100m gold medallist at the 1992 Barcelona Games, who received the sentence in July last year, was present at the Court of Appeal in London for the decision.

He had been cleared of dangerous driving, which he denied, at a trial at Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire. However he was disqualified for 15 months and fined £5,000 for careless driving.

Christie, 51, of Sherland Road, Twickenham, west London, crashed head-on into a taxi carrying a newlywed couple while driving the wrong way down a major road.

Two judges dismissed his appeal against the disqualification, but reduced the fine to £3,000.

Mr Justice Treacy, sitting with Mr Justice Blair, announced: "In our judgment this was a bad case of careless driving. Mr Christie's driving can properly be described in our view as bordering on the dangerous."

Christie, who has no previous convictions, told the Crown Court he thought he was "going to die" following the late-night collision on the A413 Amersham Road in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, on May 8 2010.

Newly-married Peter Ashton had to be dragged from the taxi, which was taking him to the Bull Hotel in nearby Gerrards Cross, along with his new wife, Claire Lloyd-Ashton, and her uncle, Michael Burt.

Reducing the fine, Mr Justice Treacy said Christie "clearly acknowledged his responsibility at the time and repeatedly sought to persuade the Crown Prosecution Service to accept a guilty plea to careless driving, without success". He added: "We view that as a positive mitigating feature."

Christie, who has now completed almost six months of his ban, declined to comment outside court after the ruling.


From Belfast Telegraph