Drink-drive ban for Professor Green

Herald Series: Professor Green has been charged with drink-driving Professor Green has been charged with drink-driving

Rapper Professor Green has been banned from driving for a year and ordered to pay £525 fine and costs after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

The 30-year-old was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving on November 3.

Bromley Magistrates' Court was told that the star got behind the wheel of his Mercedes after being robbed of his £40,000 Rolex watch on the doorstep of his home in Tyrwhitt Road, Lewisham, south east London.

He got into his car because he feared his wife, Made In Chelsea reality TV star Millie Mackintosh, who had screamed and fled, was being chased by the attacker, according to David Hislop QC, defending.

Green, who appeared in court under his real name of Stephen Manderson, was found to have driven with 52 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35.

The I Need You Tonight star confirmed his name, age and address and pleaded guilty to the charge.

He said he would take a drink-driver rehabilitation course so that his 12-month disqualification might be cut to nine months. His licence was also endorsed for the offence.

The rapper was arrested after police attended reports that a man had been robbed in Tyrwhitt Road at around 2.40am.

When officers arrived, they discovered that a Mercedes had crashed into a van.

Prosecutor Samantha Mitchell said police were alerted after a 999 call, made at 2.35am by Manderson using a mobile phone belonging to a passer-by.

She told the court: "The defendant was spoken to and explained he had been looking for the suspect of his robbery.

"He had driven his car to look for this person and, during the course of looking for this person, he crashed into a parked van, causing damage."

The police realised that he was drunk and told him he would have to provide a specimen.

"However he was quite hostile," Miss Mitchell added, and he was driven to Lewisham police station to be dealt with.

Mr Hislop suggested that Manderson, who had no previous convictions and a clean licence, had driven while over the limit for "some distressing and understandable reasons".

The court was told that he had been drinking while on a plane as he returned from working in Ireland.

He "did not consider himself to be drunk", Mr Hislop added.

The rapper then met his wife, who was "considerably more drunk than he", at a nightclub.

The couple then got a taxi home but found the lock was stiff when they tried to get in.

Manderson went down a flight of steps to the basement and was looking at his keys.

Mr Hislop told the court: "The first that he knew of the presence of the male was when he was grabbed. He panicked and screamed out to his wife as he was concerned for her safety."

He tried to wrestle with the man, who had recognised him, but heard his wife scream and gave up.

Mr Hislop told the court that the man had asked Manderson: "Where's your wife going?", leading him to believe that the robber was chasing her.

Mr Hislop suggested that the "measure of his (Manderson's) panic" could be linked to a previous incident in which he was nearly knifed to death.

Manderson, who survived a stabbing in May 2009, had good reason to believe he and his wife were in danger, Mr Hislop claimed.

He said: " This defendant was stabbed in the throat and nearly died. The assailant received eight years in prison for that attack."

He was "wrong" to have driven the car, Mr Hislop added.

Manderson had got about 50 yards down the road before hearing his wife scream. He then reversed and backed into a parked car.

He realised he had lost his mobile phone in the earlier scuffle and stopped some passers-by to call the police.

"He admits he was drinking and was the driver of the car," Mr Hislop said, but he did it because he believed "he was in an emergency situation".

Manderson had also been threatened with a charge of perverting the course of justice by officials who did not believe he had been robbed or his fear that his wife might be attacked, the court heard.

He was arrested for the alleged offence when he returned to answer police bail in November.

Mr Hislop described this suggestion as "ludicrous", especially as it would have meant he had "made up a crime", admitted his own responsibility and also ensured the police were called.

He said: "The police came to him with a deal - 'You admit the falsity about the act of the robbery. Plead guilty to drink-driving and you will not hear any more about perverting the course of justice'."

The barrister said "it is a measure" of Manderson's character that he refused the deal but the fall-out from his brush with the law has seen him dropped from a long-standing, money-spinning advertising deal.

"Police officers searched his house for two hours. He and his family were humiliated and his privacy was invaded," Mr Hislop argued.

"Matters got even worse - someone leaked the perverting the course of justice (allegation) to the press. We cannot say who it was but there are not many candidates.

"He loses a business partnership with a well-known brand he had been associated with for a number of years. His financial losses as a result of it are considerable."

Mr Hislop concluded: "This man has suffered quite disproportionately to the error of judgment that he made that night."

Manderson, who said he would pay his fine straightaway, then left the building hand in hand with his wife, who sat quietly throughout the 17-minute hearing at the back of the public gallery.

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