Police are considering appealing against Katie Price’s suspended sentence after the former glamour model was spared jail for crashing her BMW while high, drunk, disqualified and uninsured because she went to the Priory rehab centre.
A judge at Crawley Magistrates’ Court told the TV star, 43, that she deserved to spend Christmas in prison, but admitted her hands were tied because Price had completed a stint at the celebrity rehab clinic following a previous hearing.
Price was handed a 16-week suspended sentence for crashing her car near her home in West Sussex in September following a drink and drugs bender.
She was also given a two-year driving ban, 100 hours unpaid work, 20 sessions of rehabilitation work with probation, and was ordered to pay £213.
Superintendent James Collis, Head of Roads Policing for Sussex Police and Surrey Police, said: ‘Today’s sentencing, as the judge explained, could have and should have been much worse and, in our view, Price is extremely lucky not to be spending Christmas behind bars.
‘Given the circumstances and her history of motoring offences, it’s clear she did not consider the risk of her actions to the wider public or the implications for her own family. We are now exploring whether we can appeal this sentence.’
Sentencing, District Judge Amanda Kelly told Price: ‘You appear to think that you are above the law. You have one of the worst driving records I have seen. You have been banned from driving on five occasions.
‘The public may be appalled to hear that I can’t send you to jail today. But the law says that when a person has complied with the terms of their release then you have a legitimate expectation not to be sent to prison today, even though you deserve to spend Christmas behind bars.’
Drink-driving campaigners said they were ‘gobsmacked’ by the ‘unbelievable’ sentence.
Katie Price with Carl Woods leaving Crawley Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex this afternoon after her sentencing
Katie Price, with Carl Woods (left) and her stepfather Paul (right), leaving Crawley Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex today
Katie Price was photographed going out shopping while at The Priory in South West London in October
Katie Price leaves Crawley Magistrates’ Court today with her fiancé Carl Woods (left) and her stepfather Paul (right)
Katie Price with Carl Woods leaving Crawley Magistrates’ Court this afternoon after she was given a suspended sentence
Katie Price’s long history of driving offences that has seen her banned from the road SIX times
2003: Price escaped a speeding charge after police failed to arrest her within 12 weeks of allegedly clocking 70mph in a 40mph zone in her Range Rover.
2008: After talking on the mobile phone while driving on April 18, Price landed three penalty points.
2009: Price failed to provide the identity of the driver after her car was allegedly caught speeding in a 30mph zone and was later handed four penalty points after being clocked at 99mph and was handed four points on her licence.
2010: Price was convicted for failing to be in proper control of her horsebox after veering into another lane in February and was given three points on her licence, bringing her total to 10. Then in December she was banned from driving for six months after doing 83mph in a 70mph zone in her home county of West Sussex.
2012: Two years later, Katie was disqualified for 12 months for failing to respond to two speeding tickets in September.
2018: Price landed a six-month ban in February 2018 for speeding after totting up 12 penalty points for speeding. In July, photos emerged of her driving while still banned. Then in October she was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and spent 13 hours in custody after crashing into a VW Golf and a hedge on a gated estate at 2am.
2019: She was given a three-month ban for driving while disqualified in January of that year. And then in October, Price was banned from driving for a further 18 months for failing to inform police who was behind the wheel of her pink Range Rover during a crash in Bexley, South East London.
2021 : Price crashes her BMW car on a country road near her West Sussex home in the early hours of the morning in September after drinking and taking drugs. She pleaded guilty at Crawley Magistrates of drink driving, driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.
Price was driving to visit a nearby friend when the crash occurred at around 6.20am. Price’s vehicle was discovered by a member of the public. When he approached the vehicle, which had been flipped onto its left side, he found Price slumped in the passenger’s seat. He pulled her out of the window.
Police arrived on the scene shortly afterwards. Price admitted that she should not have been driving.
Jonathan Karani, prosecuting, told the court that no witnesses to the incident have been identified. He told the court: ‘She said ‘I know I should not have been driving but I did. I have been banned four times’.’
Mr Karani said Price had five previous driving bans, rather than four. Price was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital. While there she refused to have a blood test due to a fear of needles. A urine sample was taken, but it has yet to be tested, Mr Karani said.
At the hospital Price told police: ‘I had alcohol, I took drugs, I should not be driving, I admit it all.’
The court heard a drugs wipe gave a positive reading for cocaine and a roadside breath test was positive for 66mgs of alcohol. An image shared by police from the scene showed a car flipped on its side.
Joe Harrington, defence, said: ‘This is a lady with a lot of things going on. She has five children who she has contributed greatly to the care of. In terms of her son Harvey, she has been the only adult in his life.
‘Between 2020-21 she had a serious accident, causing damage to her heels. She is also in the bankruptcy court.’
Mr Harrington told the court that ‘things tend to be quite complicated’ with his client.
‘It’s a complicated driving history. Things tend to be quite complicated with this lady. She does not deal with her problems, particularly with paperwork,’ he added.
Price admitted the offences at a previous hearing at the same court on September 29. At that hearing, her sentencing was adjourned on the condition that she have treatment at the Priory Centre, not commit any further offences, and be banned from driving in the interim.
After telling her she would not be going to prison, the judge told Price: ‘If you breach this order, you will go to prison. If you don’t turn up or do unpaid work, in all likelihood you will go to prison.’
Jon Karani, prosecuting, told the court today that Price fell into the passenger seat nearest the ground after rolling her car. He added that Price told police she had been banned from driving four times, when in fact it was five.
He said: ‘She told police ‘I know I shouldn’t have been driving but I did, I’ve been banned four times’.’ Roadside tests showed she had been drinking and had taken cocaine. Mr Karani said: ‘She said ‘I don’t care, it’s fine’.’ She also told police in hospital: ‘I’m guilty, I had alcohol, I took drugs, I shouldn’t be driving.’
Price will be back in court again next month for enforcement action on the unpaid fines. Defending her, Joseph Harrington asked the court for a short driving ban. He said: ‘She had a crash. ‘It’s clear she was distressed and upset. She was taken straight to the Priory and complied with them there. This is a lady with an awful lot going on.’
The night before returning to court, Katie posted a video online of her son Harvey looking forward to Christmas with his mother. The driving ban Katie Price was serving when she rolled her BMW was due to end today.
Mr Harrington said her finances were so disorganised and chaotic that a £7.50 toll for using the Dartford Crossing had escalated into a £1,400 debt due to her failure to deal with it. He added: ‘She has five children, is the only consistent adult in Harvey’s life, has four other children aged six to 16 and her mother is terminally ill with cancer.’
Debbie Jones, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said Price lost control of her car and crashed, adding: ‘She was located trapped in the vehicle by a witness who stayed with her until the emergency services arrive. She gave a positive roadside breath test and a positive reading for cocaine.’
Price accepted full responsibility and apologised for the crash in a statement released by her family, which said: ‘Kate acknowledges and takes full responsibility for her actions. She knows they were wrong and apologises.’
But John Scruby, a trustee of the Campaign Against Drink Driving charity, told MailOnline today: ‘I’m absolutely gobsmacked, I just cannot believe it, I really can’t. It’s unbelievable, it really is.
‘It’s a smack in the teeth for anybody else – the last figures we received were that over 270 people each day are in court all over the UK for drink driving. They’re going to prison and not getting a suspended sentence.
‘It’s completely the wrong message, and it’s a kick in the teeth when a responsible person like a magistrate can look at that and think it’s worthy of a 16-week suspended sentence.’
Katie Price (left) arrives at Crawley Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex today, and is supported by her fiancé Carl Woods (right)
A photo tweeted by police showed a damaged BMW lying on its side across the country road in West Sussex in September
Katie Price arrives at Crawley Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex this afternoon to be sentenced for drink-driving
Katie Price arrives at Crawley Magistrates’ Court this afternoon as she gets out of the back door of a black Porsche sports car
How The Priory’s former clients include Lily Allen, Johnny Depp and Amy Winehouse – and it costs around £6,800 a week
The Priory is one of the most famous mental health care providers in the world, known for treating A-list celebrities including Lily Allen, Johnny Depp, and Amy Winehouse at its flagship hospital in Roehampton, South West London.
Built in 1811 before being converted into a hospital in 1872, the group now has more than 500 sites across the country, with around 7,000 beds available.
The Priory’s flagship clinic in Roehampton
The Priory in Roehampton helps 90 patients at a time, and costs around £6,800 a week. Although their flagship hospital is extremely expensive, around 70 per cent of patients across their hospitals are referred by the NHS.
In 2016, The Priory was branded ‘unsafe’ in a devastating report by an official watchdog following a series of suicides and self-harming incidents by patients.
One of the rooms at The Priory Roehampton
That included the death of Stephen Bantoft, 49, who hanged himself less than three hours after checking into an acute psychiatric wing at the hospital.
He was the fourth apparent suicide in a Priory Group facility in as many years.
Mr Scruby, a former traffic officer who attended more than 30 drink-drive deaths, added: ‘I’d like to think that anybody else that was in there would have been looking at a custodial sentence for what she’s done.
‘Sixteen weeks is way, way, way below the recommended min sentence, and I don’t know how the magistrates can look at themselves tonight and say they’ve done their job, because they haven’t. She’s very, very lucky, very lucky indeed – and there will be another time, unless this spoilt little princess grows up.’
And The AA’s head of roads policy Jack Cousens told MailOnline today: ‘Around 1million UK drivers are uninsured. We hope this sends a clear message to those that drive outside the law. With Christmas police drink-drive campaigns in full swing, today’s sentence is a timely reminder of what happens when drunk drivers get caught.’
Friends told MailOnline that Price had been ‘terrified’ she could spend Christmas behind bars, saying it was a ‘reality she has never faced before’ and she was concerned about the ‘potential reaction of her children’.
She arrived at the court earlier today in the back seat of a black Porsche sports car, wearing a face mask and carrying a designer handbag. Price then dropped her phone while walking into the court before picking it up.
Mr Woods was also at the court this afternoon to support her from the public gallery – and arrived carrying a coffee along with her stepfather Paul, a 59-year-old fence erector, who was carrying two more.
Price has been banned five times before. She was banned in February 2018 for six months after getting 12 points on her licence. She was also banned for three months and fined in January 2019 after driving while disqualified.
The model was banned again in September 2019 for three months for drink driving. In July 2019 she was banned for 18 months. The two-year-ban she was serving when she rolled her BMW was imposed on December 2019.
Officers responded to the crash on September 28 before Price was arrested and taken to hospital. Tests showed Price had 66 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – nearly double the legal limit of 35mcg.
She also tested positive for cocaine on a wipe. An image shared by police from the scene showed a car flipped on its side, and after the crash her family expressed concern for her wellbeing.
In a statement from the family shared on Price’s Instagram account after the incident, they said: ‘As a family we have for some time been concerned about Kate’s wellbeing and overall mental health.
‘Today our worst fears nearly came true. As a family we have been and will continue to help Kate get the help she needs. We hope that she will realise that she cannot battle her issues alone.’
At that hearing, her sentencing was adjourned on the condition that Price have treatment at the Priory Centre, not commit any further offences, and be banned from driving in the interim.
The Priory in Roehampton, South West London, is the group’s flagship hospital where former clients include Lily Allen, Johnny Depp and Amy Winehouse. It costs around £6,800 a week.
Last month, public records revealed Price and her partner Carl Woods, a car salesman, had obtained a marriage licence in Las Vegas.
Price arrived in the city, which bills itself as the marriage capital of the world, the week the US reopened its borders to tourists.
Yesterday friends revealed how Price had been ‘terrified’ of the thought of going to prison.
A friend told MailOnline: ‘The devastating reality of her situation is starting to hit home and Katie is terrified.
‘It’s a reality she has never faced before, which is understandably unnerving. It’s not just herself who she’s worried about, it’s the potential reaction of her children.
‘She can’t stop thinking about it and is full of dread, but has been planning as if she is going to have a normal Christmas for the kids as a distraction.’
As well as spending time in rehab and in Las Vegas with Mr Woods, she also flew to Belgium earlier this week to have further cosmetic surgery, where she allegedly had her 13th operation on her breasts.
Katie Price arrives at Crawley Magistrates’ Court with a representative for her sentencing hearing this afternoon
Price drops her phone while walking into Crawley Magistrates’ Court in West Sussex today before picking it up
Katie Price arrives at Crawley Magistrates’ Court with her legal team to be sentenced for the driving offences this afternoon
Katie Price’s fiancé Carl Woods (left) arrives at Crawley Magistrates’ Court this afternoon with her stepfather Paul (right)
Price has a long history of driving offences, dating back to 2003, when she escaped a speeding charge after police failed to arrest her within 12 weeks of allegedly clocking 70mph in a 40mph zone in her Range Rover.
In 2008, after talking on the mobile phone while driving on April 18, Price landed three penalty points.
The year after, Price failed to provide the identity of the driver after her car was caught speeding in a 30mph zone and was later handed four penalty points after being clocked at 99mph and was handed four points on her licence.
In 2009 Price was convicted for failing to be in proper control of her horsebox after veering into another lane in February 2010 and was given three points on her licence, bringing her total to 10.
Then in December that year she was banned from driving for six months after doing 83mph in a 70mph zone in her home county of West Sussex.
Katie Price’s fiancé Carl Woods arrives at Crawley Magistrates’ Court this afternoon to support her during her sentencing
Katie Price’s fiance Carl Woods arrives at in court to support his partner Katie Price at her drink-driving sentencing today
In April, Price mocked her driving ban in a YouTube video by sitting in the driving seat of car and pretending to drive – but noting that she was on her own land
Katie Price’s fiancé Carl Woods previously said on Instagram that he will ‘always be there’ for the ‘rough diamond’
Two years later, Katie was disqualified for 12 months for failing to respond to two speeding tickets in September.
Katie Price, 43, attends the National Television Awards 2021 at The O2 on September 9, three weeks before the crash
In 2018, Katie landed a six-month ban in February 2018 for speeding after totting up 12 penalty points for speeding. In July that year, photos emerged of her driving while still banned.
Then in October she was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and spent 13 hours in custody after crashing into a VW Golf and a hedge on a gated estate at 2am.
In 2019 she was given a three-month ban for driving while disqualified in January of that year.
And then in October, Price was banned from driving for a further 18 months for failing to inform police who was behind the wheel of her pink Range Rover during a crash in Bexley, south east London.
The smash came a day after Price said being disqualified from driving meant she could not visit her disabled son Harvey at his residential college in Gloucestershire.
She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain at the time: ‘Harvey’s in Cheltenham now, he keeps ringing me saying, ‘Mummy I miss you, I need your kisses and cuddles’, so it is quite hard.
‘Because obviously I don’t get my licence back until December, so I can’t just whizz in the car down there and it’s not close.’
Mr Woods said he will ‘always be there’ for the ‘rough diamond’, writing on Instagram after the crash: ‘Relationships are tested, people test each other.
‘But when you love someone like I love Katie, you enjoy the highs and good times together. And that bond is tested during the low and difficult times together.
‘Katie is a rough diamond. She has her imperfections however they make her perfect to me. She just needs that extra help to be polished.
‘The sunlight will shine through her once again and the sparkles that she brings to everyone will return. I love you Katie 100 per cent. My dolly, always here, always will be.’