Frankel’s jockey handed drink driving ban despite claiming to be ‘sleep driving’

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  • Flat jockey Tom Queally has received a 22-month drink driving ban — after claiming he had been sleep walking at the time.

    Tom, who was found asleep at the wheel of his car earlier this year said he had been “sleep driving”. However, he admitted drink driving at Crewe Magistrates Court yesterday (Monday 17 November).

    The jockey rose to fame when he partnered the unbeaten superstar Frankel to victory in all 14 of the colt’s races.

    Tom was banned for 22 months and fined £1,350, as well as being ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120 and prosecution costs of £3,500.

    The 30-year-old was was found asleep at the wheel of his BMW more than twice over the legal limit at 5.40am on 16 March this year. The car was in the forecourt of a petrol station with the lights on and engine running.

    Tom, of Oak Lodge, Newmarket, claimed not to have been drinking and then “rolled” out of a police car and lay on the ground before being arrested, the court heard.

    He failed a breath test — having 84microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35m.

    His lawyer Nick Freeman claimed Tom was “morally totally innocent” as he was “sleep driving” at the time.

    The jockey, who has reportedly suffered from sleep walking since he was five-years-old, had never sleep driven before. His defence claimed the incident was triggered by a series of events including the break up of a long-term relationship and the death of trainer Sir Henry Cecil, whom he rode for.

    Mr Freeman told the court: “The thrust of my mitigation is he’s completely unaware of what he’s doing. He’s sleep driving.”

    However, district Judge Bridget Knight said previous legal authorities had ruled sleep walking was not a defence for drink driving and imposed the ban.

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