Alan Carr's husband Paul Drayton walks free after winning sentence appeal
Alan Carr’s husband Paul Drayton has walked free from court following two “harrowing” nights in custody after winning his appeal against a prison sentence for drink-driving.
The 50-year-old was jailed on Wednesday after reversing a 4×4 into a police car with an alcohol test reading “off the scale”.
But on Friday a judge told him he should be given the opportunity to turn his life around and that his sentence would be suspended.
Drayton, who cares for rescue horses, broke down in tears in the dock as he was told his liberty was being restored.
It came after he recently announced his split from comedian Carr, his partner of 13 years, and also underwent brain surgery just over two weeks ago.
Drayton had been handed a 14-week jail term on Wednesday after pleading guilty to a single count of “driving a motor vehicle when alcohol level above limit”.
He wore a blue suit to Brighton Crown Court on Friday as his barrister sought to have him released from custody.
John Dye, representing Drayton, told the court: “This is a very serious drink-driving offence.
“It crosses the custody threshold. I think to say anything other than that would be absurd.”
But he emphasised Drayton’s previous good character, mental health struggles and problems with alcohol.
“The two nights in custody have been extremely difficult for someone who has poor mental health,” he added.
At the mention of his two nights in prison since being jailed on Wednesday, Drayton broke down in silent tears in the dock.
Judge Shani Barnes responded: “I am sure they have been harrowing.”
After briefly retiring to discuss the case with her magistrate colleague, she returned to the courtroom and told Drayton that had led an “exemplary life”.
Addressing the question of whether the sentence could be suspended, she said the answer was “quite clearly… yes”.
“Yes, of course it is right that we give you an opportunity to make amends and turn your life around.”
She told him he would receive a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 24 months.
Drayton, who had been visibly emotional in the dock throughout the hearing, broke down in fresh tears as the decision was announced.
At his sentencing hearing on Wednesday, the court heard that worried members of the public had called police on October 9 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 him 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.