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- English television personality, businesswoman, model and singer
Model and reality star Katie Price has spoken out for the first time after narrowly avoiding jail time. She was caught drink-driving after crashing her car, despite having a driving ban.
On Wednesday, the mother of five appeared in Crawley Magistrates' Court where she was given a 16-week prison sentence (suspended for 12 months), 100 hours of unpaid community work and a £213 fine. She was also told by judge Amanda Kelly that her driving record was "the worst" she'd ever seen.
However, anti-drink driving campaigners have since criticised the sentencing online for being too lenient. John Scruby, of the Campaign Against Drink Driving, said of the case, "She is only the victim of her own stupidity and selfishness. It is a slap in the face to us. My feelings are that Miss Price's legal team have hoodwinked the court."
Judge Kelly explained, according to Sky News, that she was unable to grant a longer sentence as Price had complied with court orders and started rehabilitation treatment at the £6,800 a week Priory Centre, alongside not committing any further offences.
During the sentencing, she also told Price: "When you chose to get behind the wheel that night you showed no concern for others. You could have killed somebody. Your actions meant the emergency services had to use up their precious time. You knowingly and deliberately flouted a court order and not for the first time."
In an emotional statement, Price said she was now working on her mental health and thanked her family, friends and partner, Carl Woods, for their support.
On Instagram, she wrote: "I would like to thank my family, my children, my mum, dad, sister, brother, my partner Carl, Leigh, and my friends who have supported me throughout these past few months."
"It's been a really difficult time and I'm incredibly sorry for my actions - I'm sincerely grateful nobody was hurt - I realise the damage my actions could have caused not only to another family, but to my own as well."
She continued on to say, "I'm now spending time getting better - mental health is a hidden illness and can strike at any time. The triggers that cause my anxiety and behaviour are something I'm trying to understand, come to terms with, and learn to control moving forward.
"This will be a long process for myself and something I'll continue to work on for the rest of my life. It's also something I can work on with my family so we can progress on a new chapter together."
Superintendent James Collis, head of roads policing for Sussex Police and Surrey Police, said that his team are currently looking into whether or not Price's sentence could be subject to appeal.
He said the sentencing "could have and should have been much worse and, in our view, Price is extremely lucky not to be spending Christmas behind bars".
Statistically, it's thought between 210 and 250 people are killed in drink driving accidents in Great Britain each year, where at least one driver was over the alcohol consumption limit.
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