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Eastenders drunk driving shame: former star Dean Gaffney banned from driving for a year

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Ex-Eastenders star Dean Gaffney, 44, admits driving under the influence in his Audi A7 as he blames pressure to find work during the pandemic, forcing him to live on savings

  • The former Eastenders star confessed to drink-driving in Staines on April 28
  • Officers approached Dean Gaffney’s car parked on a corner
  • He was breath tested after officers said they could smell alcohol in the car
  • Court heard he was struggling to find work after the Covid pandemic

Former Eastenders star Dean Gaffney said the pressure to find work after the pandemic led to him driving under the influence while living on his savings.

Police spotted the former TV star’s Audi A7 parked on the corner of a road in Staines on the evening of April 28.

After approaching the car, the officers testified that they could smell alcohol on Gaffney’s breath and ordered him to take a test.

The 44-year-old actor said he has struggled to find work since the lockdown and has been living on his savings.

Prosecutor Lucy Lumsden told the court: “It was 11:40 p.m. when police officers on a mobile patrol saw an Audi A7 parked on a corner with the lights on and the engine running.

“They were approaching and the driver’s side window was open. The driver appeared intoxicated, although he said he had not drunk alcohol.

Former Eastenders star Dean Gaffney, photographed leaving Staines Magistrates’ Court, was banned from driving for 12 months after admitting he was under the influence of alcohol.

The TV star was spotted parked on the side of the road in Staines by police who suspected him of being under the influence of alcohol.  Gaffney, 44, told police he hadn't been drinking but returned a positive breath sample

The TV star was spotted parked on the side of the road in Staines by police who suspected him of being under the influence of alcohol. Gaffney, 44, told police he hadn’t been drinking but returned a positive breath sample

Gaffney, pictured in 2015, living off his savings as it has been difficult to find gainful employment since the Covid-19 pandemic

Gaffney, pictured in 2015, living off his savings as it has been difficult to find gainful employment since the Covid-19 pandemic

“The officers smelled intoxicating liquor on his breath and he failed a roadside breath test. During the police interrogation, he confessed to driving.’

The only “aggravating feature” the court was told was the presence of a female passenger in the front seat of the car.

A breath test found that Gaffney recorded 46 micrograms of alcohol in 100 ml of breath – well above the legal limit of 35 micrograms.

He was banned from driving for a year and fined £300 and had to pay £85 and a £34 casualty allowance.

District Judge Julie Cooper handed over to Gaffney, who finished fifth on the “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” series. from 2006, 28 days to pay the fines.

His defence, Simon Collingham, told the court that Mr Gaffney, who appeared in EastEnders from 1993 to 2003 and from 2017 to 2019, was “ready to say how deeply he regrets”.

Mr Collingham said: ‘He is sorry for the offense and ashamed of his behaviour.

He has worked full-time in the entertainment industry since he was 15, but like so many in the business since the onset of Covid, he has struggled to find work.

“He lives on his savings with the full emotional support of his family. Mr Gaffney was not seen driving, but he admitted to police that he was driving the vehicle.

“He should be given full credit for his admission of guilt. He sincerely apologizes. It was out of character and this is not a person you will see in court.”

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