Former Olympic sprint king Christie loses 15-month driving ban challenge
Lost: Former Olympic sprint champion Linford Christie covers his face
Olympic sprint champion Linford Christie lost a challenge on Friday against an order banning him from the roads for 15 months for careless driving.
The 100 metres gold medallist at the 1992 Barcelona Games, who received the sentence in July last year, was present at the Court of Appeal in London for the decision.
He had been cleared of dangerous driving, which he denied, at a trial at Aylesbury Crown Court in Buckinghamshire. But he was disqualified for 15 months and fined 5,000 for careless driving.
Christie, 51, crashed head-on into a taxi carrying a newly-wed couple while driving the wrong way down a major road.
Two judges dismissed his appeal against the disqualification, but reduced the fine to 3,000.
Mr Justice Treacy, sitting with Mr Justice Blair, announced: 'In our judgment this was a bad case of careless driving.
'Mr Christie's driving can properly be described in our view as bordering on the dangerous.'
Christie, who has no previous convictions, told the Crown Court he thought he was 'going to die' following the late-night collision on the A413 in Buckinghamshire, in May 2010.
Disqualified: Christie has been banned from driving for 15 months
Newly-married Peter Ashton had to be
dragged from the taxi, which was taking him to the Bull Hotel in nearby
Gerrards Cross, along with his new wife, Claire Lloyd-Ashton, and her
uncle, Michael Burt.
Mr Justice Treacy said the court was
'not persuaded in the circumstances' that the judge at Aylesbury was in
error in imposing the disqualification he did.
Reducing the fine, the appeal judge
said Christie 'clearly acknowledged his responsibility at the time and
repeatedly sought to persuade the Crown Prosecution Service to accept a
guilty plea to careless driving, without success'.
He added: 'We view that as a positive mitigating feature.'
Site: The scene of the collision
The judges heard that Christie is
coaching around 12 athletes for the Olympics, who are undertaking the
large amount of driving required while he remains under the ban.
Christie, who has now completed almost six months of his ban, declined to comment outside court after the ruling.