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Three year ban and €2.5k fine for drunk ex of tragic Katy

The millionaire ex-boyfriend of model Katy French was caught drink driving in his father's €500k Rolls Royce.

When stopped, Jimmy Mansfield jnr, told gardai: "I'm drunk as a f***ing fool."

Officers were alerted when they spotted the hotel and airport heir driving the Rolls Royce erratically.

When they quizzed him, they found him to be very unsteady on his feet.

"There was a strong smell of alcohol from his breath and his shirt was also dishevelled," Garda Jason Courage told Dublin District Court. "He said, 'I'm as drunk as a f**king fool'."

Mansfield Jnr (42) has now been banned from driving for three years after he was found to be twice the legal limit.

The offence occurred close to his father, Jim Mansfield's, sprawling Citywest Hotel.

Mansfield Jnr gave gardai his address as Palmerstown House - the magnificent period mansion at Johnstown, Naas, Co Kildare.

The young millionaire contested the drink driving case on technicalities. But he did not take up Judge Ann Watkin's offer of a change of plea when his defence began to falter.

The judge fined him €2,500 as well as banning him from driving. Outside court, he told the Herald he intended appealing the conviction but declined to comment further.

Shortly after Katy French's death, it emerged that Jimmy Mansfield Jr was the mystery man who had been in an "on-off" relationship with her 10 months after her split from fiance Marcus Sweeney.

Garda Jason Courage told Dublin District Court he saw the accused's black Rolls Royce being driven southbound on the Naas Road at 6.20am on September 19.

He pulled the car in and Mansfield was "very unsteady on his feet" when he got out. His speech was slurred and he had to lean on his vehicle.

Mansfield said he "just wanted to get home to Palmerstown".

The garda cautioned the accused and arrested him, explaining the reason.

He was taken to Ballyfermot Garda Station, where he was observed to ensure he had nil by mouth before giving two breath samples that had readings of 70mcg of alcohol per 100ml of breath. He was charged and released on bail.

Evidence

Mansfield's barrister argued that the garda's statement that had been provided to the defence did not contain all the information he gave in his direct evidence.

He said it was not clear in the statement whether he informed Mansfield of the reason for his arrest, or how he formed the opinion that the accused was drink driving.

Judge Watkin said the omissions from the statement only prejudiced the accused's case in that if they had been included he might have pleaded guilty.

She gave him an opportunity to do so and his barrister declined and went ahead with cross-examination.

The barrister said it was possible the garda had read his statement, realised there was information missing and "made up" evidence to fill the gaps.

Judge Watkin said she did not believe this.

The court heard the accused had no previous convictions and there was "no evidence of any lack of co-operation".

"I have nothing really to say in relation to his circumstances", his barrister added.

Mansfield conferred with his legal team in a solicitors' room before leaving the Richmond Courthouse.

Jimmy Mansfield previously made headlines when he spoke of his hurt following Katy French's death.

"I am absolutely devastated over Katy's death," he said.

"She was a lovely, intelligent, bright and beautiful girl and she is sorely missed. We were together on and off for the last 10 months, but I don't wish to say anything more," he added.

hnews@herald.ie


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