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Mansfield now faces second drink-driving charge in two weeks

THE millionaire ex-boyfriend of model Katy French is now facing a second charge of drunk driving in the space of a fortnight.

Hotel and airport heir Jimmy Mansfield Jnr is accused of drunk driving just two weeks after he was arrested the first time by gardai.

He was banned for driving for three years this week and fined €2,500 for that offence in September last year. At the time, he told gardai who stopped his Rolls Royce, "I'm drunk as a fool", then unsuccessfully contested the case.

Now he is due back in court on a charge that he committed the same offence in October.

Meanwhile, it is unclear when he will have his licence suspended following his recent conviction, as the ban is not due to come into effect until February 2.

Mansfield has already said he intends to appeal the conviction and, if that happens, he will be able to drive until the appeal is heard.

According to court records, Mansfield (42) is due to appear in Dublin District Court charged with drunk driving at Pembroke Road, Dublin 4, on October 2, 2009. The case is listed for hearing next month.



admission

Mansfield was this week convicted of drunk driving on the Naas Road near Citywest on September 19. The businessman son of tycoon Jim Mansfield Snr had a clean record before now.

He contested this week's case despite his admission to the arresting garda.

Mansfield was caught when gardai saw him driving his Rolls Royce erratically near Citywest.

He tested twice the legal alcohol limit.

Mansfield, with an address at Palmerstown House, Johnstown, Naas, Co Kildare, fought the drink-driving case on technicalities. He did not take up Judge Ann Watkin's offer of a change of plea when his defence began to falter.

Outside court, he told the Herald he intended appealing the conviction, but declined to comment further.

Garda Jason Courage told Dublin District Court he saw the accused's black Rolls Royce being driven southbound on the Naas Road after 6.20am.

He pulled the car in and Mansfield was "very unsteady on his feet" when he got out. His speech was slurred and he had to lean on his vehicle.

"There was a strong smell of alcohol from his breath and his shirt was also dishevelled," Garda Courage said. "He said 'I'm as drunk as a f**king fool'."

aphelan@herald.ie