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Michael O'Doherty: If you were as drunk as a f***ing fool Jimmy, why did you fight your driving ban?

I've no time for drink drivers, but at the same time I've no time for people who use someone's wealth as an extra stick to beat them with.

The fact that Jimmy Mansfield Jnr is a billionaire's son and was driving a Rolls-Royce, as opposed to a schoolteacher in a Nissan Micra, when he was nicked for drink driving makes for a good headline, but it shouldn't make his crime any worse.

First up, some full disclosure.

I know Jimmy Mansfield, not terribly well, but well enough that I don't want to be accused of bias by not mentioning it.

He's a decent bloke, and certainly a long way from the rich-kid playboy son of a billionaire stereotype that we all love to hate.


But he let himself down this week, on two fronts, having been caught not only drinking and driving, but more damagingly in the way he contested the charge.

Drinking and driving is bad enough, but there are few people who can safely say they've never done it, so I'm not going to judge a man by what may well be a single, isolated incident.

What bugs me about the report of his court appearance is that he not only contested the charge, despite overwhelming evidence pointing to him being guilty, but he has now further decided to appeal it after his defence was thrown out.

Using that old chestnut of the 'technicality', Jimmy argued, among other things, that the arresting garda may not have informed him of the reason why he was being arrested nor, and this is the best bit, "how he formed the opinion that the accused was drink driving."

Let me try and shed some light as to how the garda may have formed his opinion -- Jimmy was driving the car (there's no dispute about that) and when stopped, he told the garda that he was "as drunk as a f**king fool".

Now I'm putting two and two together, and getting four. But perhaps Mr Mansfield's learned friend can conjure up a technicality which casts doubt over the accuracy of that simple arithmatic.

Why didn't Jimmy just hold up his hands, admit his guilt like a man, and take his punishment? I'll tell you why he didn't -- because his barrister probably advised him that there was a chance he could get him off 'on a technicality' and Jimmy decided to roll the dice.

The legal profession will, as they always do, argue that every client is entitled to the best possible defence, and that everyone is innocent until proven 100pc guilty.


What enrages everyone not in the legal profession, however, is the way they use the technical minutiae of the law to get off a man who has obviously committed a crime.

To put it in terms the learned friend's client might understand, "if it waddles like a drunk f**king fool; talks like a drunk f**king fool, and actually admits in its own words to be a 'drunk f**king fool', then maybe it should just own up to being one?

I rest my case.