A leading civil litigation lawyer has been banned from the roads for drink-driving after she smashed up her luxury Porsche 4×4 following a white wine spree at her law practice.
Natasha Banjo, 40, was found by police to be 14 points over the alcohol limit after she overshot a junction in her 3-litre Cayenne and ploughed through a wall.
She had earlier been drinking with colleagues when fellow partners brought food and wine to her office near Bolton, Greater Manchester.
Natasha Banjo, 40, has been banned from the roads after admitting drink driving. She had been drinking in her office in Bolton, Greater Manchester on November 4 when she decided to drive home. She crashed into a front garden wall and caused extensive damage to her Porsche Cayenne
A court heard the mother-of-three had planned to stay over at her office and work on a case throughout the night but at 12.30am for undisclosed reasons she decided to drive back to her farmhouse she shares with her interior designer husband and family.
Following the collision Banjo was treated in hospital as precaution but was found to have suffered no injuries. The car and wall were extensively damaged but insurers covered the cost of repairs.
At Bolton magistrates court, Banjo admitted drink-driving after changing her initial not guilty plea and was disqualified from the roads for 12 months and was fined £800 with £180 in costs and surcharges.
She has since resigned her directorship at the practice and is currently thought to be working as a self-employed consultant for another firm.
Banjo ploughed through a front garden wall at a house in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in her Porsche Cayenne while she was 14 points over the alcohol limit
The crash happened on November 4 three months after Banjo, who qualified as a solicitor in 2007, was working at Bolton-based Goldman Knightley as a personal injury claims and clinical negligence lawyer.
Vincent Yip prosecuting said: ‘The offence occurred at 12:50am, so just after midnight. The location was the junction of Morris Green Lane and Lever Edge Lane. Miss Banjo was driving her Porsche vehicle at the time down Lever Edge Lane and there’s a T-junction.
‘But she has passed across the junction and continued into a front garden. She caused damage to the front garden wall and damage to her own vehicle. Police attended and Miss Banjo was checked over by the paramedics.
‘She was taken to hospital as a precaution, and while at hospital, the police carried out the blood procedure. Miss Banjo was discharged from Royal Bolton Hospital. She was taken home by police while the blood sample was sent off for analysis.’
Tests showed Banjo had 94 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of the blood. The legal limit for alcohol in blood is 80mg.
In mitigation defence lawyer Simon Morton said: ‘My client is a solicitor and on the day before this incident, she had been working. She had worked from the beginning of the day to the point of the accident.
‘She was one of three directors. One of the other directors brought food and wine to the office at some point during the course of the evening.
‘Her intention was that she would work through the night and not return home. She consumed the alcohol there.
‘But she felt she didn’t want to spend the night there and decided to drive home. She was ninety per cent through the journey. She says that she saw lights coming from the right-hand side. That’s why she believes the accident occurred. She collided with a garden wall.
The mother-of-three had planned to stay over at her office and work on a case throughout the night but at 12.30am for undisclosed reasons she decided to drive back to her farmhouse she shares with her interior designer husband and family, a court heard
After the crash, Banjo was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. Tests showed she had 94 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of the blood. The legal limit for alcohol in blood is 80mg
‘When the police attended, she fully cooperated with them. There was cooperation by her throughout this whole process. She has no convictions or cautions. It’s something she’s found troubling. She knows this will cause the loss of her good character.
‘She was under enormous amounts of pressure at that time in her life. In terms of her position now, she has resigned from the directorship. She decided it was too much pressure.
‘She is now effectively self-employed. It’s had a significant impact on her remuneration and work, but it’s better in terms of her work balance. She has three children. She has stepped back and found better equilibrium in her life. The reading was at the bottom end of the scale.
‘There is one aggravating feature, the minor road traffic collision. She was fully insured. There was no issue as to the repair to her vehicle and the wall in question. She is genuinely remorseful and has positive good character. She has taken steps of her own volition and improved her work-life balance.
‘In terms of her relative weekly income, the figure is £800 per week. I ask that you keep the disqualification as short as you can.’
When asked if she had anything to say, Banjo told the JPs: ‘I am very remorseful and sorry’. She will offered a place on a drink driving rehabilitation course.
According to her online work profile Banjo’s areas of expertise include personal injury, clinical negligence, dental negligence, general civil litigation to include negligence claims and contract disputes and financial mis-selling claims brought pursuant to the Consumer Credit Act 1974 due to unfair creditor/debtor relationships.
Source: Daily Mail UK