The husband of comedian Alan Carr, Paul Drayton, broke down in tears in the dock after successfully appealing against his prison sentence for drink-driving.
Drayton was handed a 14-week jail term on Wednesday for reversing a 4X4 into a police car before registering an alcohol test reading that was “off the scale”.
However, the 50-year-old was released after two nights in custody on Friday after a judge told him he should be given the opportunity to turn his life around and would receive a 12-week prison sentence suspended for two years.
Drayton, who cares for rescue horses, had pleaded guilty to a single count of “driving a motor vehicle when alcohol level above limit”.
A breath alcohol test had returned a reading of 153 micrograms in 100 milliliters of breath – four times the legal limit.
Drayton recently announced his split from stand-up comedian Carr, his partner of 13 years, with the pair still married, and also underwent brain surgery just over two weeks ago.
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 offense.
“It crosses the custody threshold. I think to say anything other than that would be absurd.”
However, he emphasized 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 he 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,” Judge Barnes said.
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 9 October 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 signaled 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.