| 10.1°C Dublin

That's rich Multi-millionaire claims he was over limit from drinking vodka AFTER crashing £150K Ferrari

Christopher David Walsh said that having fled the scene where his £150k Ferrari lay totalled, within the space of walking 55ft he had gulped down the vodka

Close

The wrecked Ferrari

The wrecked Ferrari

The wrecked Ferrari

A multi-millionaire who crashed his brand new Ferrari claimed he was twice over the limit because he drank a quarter bottle of vodka in "three or four gulps" AFTER the crash.

Christopher David Walsh (58) told Antrim County Appeal Court on Friday that having fled from the scene where his £150,000 Ferrari California lay totalled, within the space of walking 55ft he had gulped down the vodka.

Under cross-examination from prosecution counsel, the property developer millionaire denied that he was tailoring his evidence to fit in with forensic findings in the case, claiming that his memory had improved in the five years since his initial conviction for drink driving, careless driving, failing to stop and failing to report an accident.

Having heard seven hours of evidence at Walsh's original contest in February 2017, District Judge Peter King said the property developer's so-called hip flask defence had "failed spectacularly" because while he claimed he had drunk the vodka after the crash, he couldn't remember he had failed to prove his case.

DJ King handed Walsh, from Mount Pleasant in south Belfast, a five-year driving ban along with a £250 fine and 75-hour community service order having heard it was the second time he had been caught drink driving behind the wheel.

On September 26 2015 Walsh completely trashed Ferrari, losing control on a slight bend and incline before ploughing into two parked cars on the Belfast Road in Holywood.

After crashing into the Nissan Almera and Vauxhall Agila when his front passenger wheel was detached, Walsh left the scene. Within 20 minutes he was arrested by an off-duty cop while hiding in bushes in the grounds of the HQ of the Catholic Maintained Schools offices just up the road from the scene of the impact.

Giving evidence, Constable McMahon said that when he helped Walsh to stand up, "he was fairly unsteady on his feet" and his breath had a "strong smell of intoxicating liquor."

"I asked him if was he driving but he didn't answer me," said the officer, adding that when he asked Walsh if he had the keys to the Ferrari, "he took two keys out, one was a Porsche key and the other was the Ferrari key".

The court heard Walsh initially refused to give an evidential sample until he spoke to a solicitor but that when he did, he was more than twice the legal limit.

Walsh ran a so-called hip flask defence, claiming he had consumed the alcohol AFTER the accident but giving evidence on his own behalf, he initially claimed he had no memory of the incident.

On Friday however his memory had experienced, as the prosecution put it, a "miraculous recovery" in that he was able to recount exactly when and where he went and with whom before the accident.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Denying suggestions from the prosecution that he was "tailoring" his evidence to fit, Walsh claimed that he "did something I hadn't done" since student days and had drank the entirety of the quarter bottle "in three of four gulps".

Judge Richard Greene QC adjourned the case to an unspecified date to hear submissions from both sides.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy