Alan Carr’s husband Paul Drayton has been jailed after drunkenly reversing into a police car with an alcohol test reading “off the scale”.
Drayton, 50, was “gambling with the lives of others” when he got behind the wheel while several times the legal limit, a court heard. He was seen swerving from side to side as police pursued him near his home in West Sussex in October last year.
Drayton, who has battled alcoholism and recently announced his split from comedian Alan Carr, his partner of 13 years, was told by the judge he had been “dicing with death”.
He appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to a single count of driving a motor vehicle when alcohol level above limit at an earlier hearing.
Drayton was jailed for 14 weeks and banned from driving for three years.
Carr and Drayton announced their separation on 21 January saying in a joint statement: ""After 13 years as a couple and three years of marriage, Alan Carr and Paul Drayton would like to announce they are separating.
"They have jointly and amicably made the difficult decision to divorce and go their separate ways. We request that their privacy is respected at this sensitive time."
The couple dated for around 10 years before tying the knot in 2018 in singer Adele’s back garden.
The court heard how worried members of the public had called police on 9 October last year, when they saw Drayton driving in Broadbridge Heath, West Sussex shortly before 3pm.
Prosecutor Suzanne Soros said officers tracked him down and saw his vehicle “swerving from side to side”.
Suspecting he was over the alcohol limit, they signalled for Drayton to pull over and he complied.
“The defendant then reverses into the police vehicle”, Ms Soros said.
Drayton was then boxed in by other police vehicles to prevent him making a getaway. A breath alcohol test returned a reading of 153 micrograms in 100 millilitres of breath – four times the legal limit.
John Dye, representing Drayton, said he had been suffering a “perfect storm in his life” when he got behind the wheel on that day. He had been dealing with alcohol and mental health issues, had had to have a brain operation, and had been injured when falling from a horse, he told the court.
Mr Dye added: “And the final straw, as is now well documented, his private life as well.
“His partner of some 13 or 14 years – that relationship has broken down, partly due to the problems Mr Drayton has with alcohol.”
He said Drayton is “absolutely petrified” of going to prison.
Sentencing him, District Judge Amanda Kelly acknowledged his alcohol issues and the effect his marriage breakdown had had on him.
But she continued: “You were dicing with death when you got behind the wheel in that state.
“Not only were you gambling with your own life but you were gambling with the lives of others.
“You could easily have killed or seriously injured someone else’s child, partner or friend.”
The judge said the breath alcohol test reading was “a reading so high it’s off the scale”.
Carr has spoken of Drayton’s issues with alcohol in the past, and once shared that he went teetotal to support his husband after he went to rehab.
Last year he revealed he had given up drinking for six months to support his husband, after he fell off the wagon in lockdown.
Reporting by PA
Watch: Alan Carr sought help for husband following relapse