In the Media

Former supermodel Paula Hamilton banned from driving after crashing into conservatory drunk

PUBLISHED November 28, 2012

In her heyday, British supermodel Paula Hamilton seduced a generation with her smouldering looks and svelte figure.

She has now suffered something of a fall from grace after being banned from driving for drunkenly crashing her car into a neighbour's conservatory.

Miss Hamilton, who lost her front teeth in the accident, appeared a shadow of her former self as she appeared in court to admit drink driving charges.

The 51-year-old, who recently appeared as a judge on television series Britain's Next Top Model, was disqualified for 14 months and fined.

The former model had claimed she could not remember getting into the car or leaving it after the crash, which happened at 4am on September 4.

The court heard she had been told to seek out social occasions after being diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia and Aspergers' syndrome at the age of 47.

On this occasion, her defence said, she had "attended a public house".

Miss Hamilton, who told Aylesbury Magistrates' Court she had "sadly" never been married, had been driving a green Hyundai car when she veered off the road, it was said.

The vehicle demolished a garden fence before crashing into a glass conservatory belonging to a neighbour, near to her home in Farnham Common, Bucks.

Miss Hamilton, who rose to popular fame in a series of television adverts for Volksagen cars, was found to have 106mg of alcohol in her blood per 100ml. The legal limit is 80mg.

Peter Bird, prosecuting, told magistrates paramedics had arrived on the scene but could not find the driver within the wreckage.

After alerting police, specialists dog handlers arrived and "a trace was found", he said. "Miss Hamilton was found collapsed in an alleyway nearby."

The court at Aylesbury, Bucks., was told that the tracker dog detained the former model and as a result caused her "some bruising."

She also had her two front teeth knocked out in the crash, and was taken to Wycombe General Hospital in High Wycombe for treatment.

Shortly afterwards, she told a newspaper she had been out "nettle hunting" and swerved to avoid a "defenceless" mother deer and fawn.

The court heard she had answered mainly "no comment" throughout a police interview, despite speaking to members of the press about the accident.

David Hicks, defending, said Miss Hamilton was "extremely remorseful" and wanted to put the mistake "behind her".

"She has no recollection of getting back into the car after walking home from the public house and does not recall leaving the vehicle before the police arrived," he said.

"She realises that she made an error of judgement."

Presiding magistrate Philip Dobson has now banned Miss Hamilton from driving for 14 months.

He also ordered her to pay a £160 pounds fine, £15 pounds victim surcharge and costs of £85 pounds.

She was told that her driving ban could be reduced by three months if she took part in the drink driver's rehabilitation course.

Miss Hamilton, who appeared wearing a smart navy coat and brown scarf, was said to appear nervous in court and struggled to hear parts of the ten-minute case.

She once interrupted the hearing to correct Mr Dobson, who mistakenly called her Mrs Hamilton.

Speaking from the dock she said: "Sorry, I must correct you, It's Miss Hamilton. I have not been married sadly."

At the time of the crash, her neighbour Manohar Gogna told how he was awoken as the car shattered his newly-built £20,000 pounds conservatory.

The retired BT worker, 68, said: "We were lucky that it happened in the early hours of the morning and not when my grandchildren were in there."

Following the crash, Miss Hamilton claimed she was "mauled" by a police dog and claimed the car she was driving had saved her life.

Even though I've lost my marbles I'm still going to get another Hyundai - I love this car man," she said. "It saved my life."

The court heard she had admitted driving with excess alcohol after a blood test proved positive.

Miss Hamilton was "discovered" as a model by photographer David Bailey after working in Tokyo and was signed by Elite models by the age of 24.

She went on to work on campaigns for Coty, Revlon, Clinique and Gap, before appearing in a 1987 Volkswagon Golf advert.

She has since appeared in television shows including the Clothes Show and Britain's Next Top Model.