Monday 20 November 2017

Multi-millionaire banned after he crashed Ferrari and hid in bushes

The brand new €175,000 Ferrari crashed by property developer Christopher David Walsh while over the alcohol limit Photo: Paul Higgins
The brand new €175,000 Ferrari crashed by property developer Christopher David Walsh while over the alcohol limit Photo: Paul Higgins

Paul Higgins

A multi-millionaire property developer was banned from driving after he ploughed into two cars.

Christopher David Walsh (53) was more than twice the legal drink limit when his brand new €176,000 Ferrari crashed into two cars in Holywood in Northern Ireland on September 26, 2015, Newtownards Magistrates Court heard.

Christopher David Walsh Photo: Paul Higgins
Christopher David Walsh Photo: Paul Higgins

Walsh had the keys to both the Ferrari and a Porsche on him when he was found, hiding in bushes.

It was the defence case that Walsh, from Mount Pleasant in Stranmillis in south Belfast, had consumed the alcohol after the crash.

However, after seven hours of evidence District Judge Peter King told Walsh he had "failed spectacularly to discharge the burden that has shifted to you" on foot of his claims.

The prosecution revealed that Walsh has a previous conviction for drunk driving and Judge King commented that given the nature of his defence "I'm not surprised at that".

Adjourning passing sentence to allow a pre-sentence probation report to be completed, the judge told Walsh he is now the subject of an interim driving disqualification.

The trial started with evidence from Paul Synnott who told the court he went to investigate the scene when he heard "an almighty bang" outside his home.

He saw a man, who turned out to be Walsh, walking away from the scene of the accident.

Mr Synnott got into his own car and followed him, all the while giving a running commentary to the PSNI call operator.

Walsh walked into the grounds of the offices of the Catholic Maintained Schools where Mr Synnott lost sight of him.

Off-duty Constable McMahon was driving to work when he came across Walsh, who he testified, was "curled up in a ball" in knee-high grass.

He told the court Walsh "was fairly unsteady on his feet" and his breath had a "strong smell of intoxicating liquor".

Walsh was taken to Bangor station where, the court heard, he was found to be more than twice the legal limit.

In his evidence Walsh claimed he had no memory of the incident.

He said he had been subjected to an assault by his son the month before when he smacked his head in the ground, claiming that his girlfriend had noticed then that his short-term memory was failing.

Irish Independent

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