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Belfast millionaire who crashed Ferrari while drunk says he ‘can't afford’ court costs

Christopher Walsh, who at one time had property portfolio worth estimated £100m, claimed he drank bottle of vodka after crash

Christopher Walsh

Walsh's damaged Ferarri

Walsh's Ferrari

Paul HigginsSunday Life

A millionaire property developer who crashed his Ferrari is too skint to pay court costs, a judge has been told.

Christopher Walsh said he had been on universal credit for about a year and was not in a position to pay fees sought by the PPS.

The 58-year-old, from Mount Pleasant in south Belfast, was prosecuted for careless driving while drunk and fleeing the scene of an accident.

A court in Antrim was told that the documentation submitted by Walsh “doesn’t prove that he isn’t able to pay the order”.

While he submitted screenshots of his bank balances, the prosecution suggested they were not the full picture and called for “very close scrutiny”.

Walsh's damaged Ferarri

Highlighting that Walsh privately funded his contest and the appeal, both of which resulted in convictions, it was disclosed he was using the same solicitor’s practice to file a judicial review.

The prosecution argued that “from experience, solicitors and counsel will not take on new work for a client who has not paid for old work”.

Representing himself, Walsh claimed that while his legal team had been paid, he did not pay them out of his own pocket.

He added he had “no problem” with supplying copies of his bank statements and any transactions valued at over £500 from the last nine months.

Despite two convictions, Walsh is still striving to clear his name seven years after he crashed his Ferrari California.

Walsh's Ferrari

He lost control of the car as he sped along the Belfast Road in Holywood on in September 2015.

The millionaire crashed into two parked vehicles before fleeing the scene.

He was followed by an off-duty officer police, and when Breathalysed was found to be more than twice the legal limit.

Walsh, who at one time had a UK-wide property portfolio worth an estimated £100m, ran a hopeless ‘hip flask defence’, claiming he drank a bottle of vodka after the impact.

Adjourning the case until next month, the judge warned him his decision regarding costs could be based on the records he is due to provide, “so they better be accurate and truthful”.


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