Katie Price fined over pink horsebox driving offence
Glamour model Katie Price has been found guilty of not being in proper control of her pink horsebox after veering into another lane in Sussex.
Mid Sussex magistrates were told two vehicles had to take evasive action when her vehicle drifted on the A23 in Bolney on 19 February as she texted.
She was fined £1,000, and ordered to pay a £15 surcharge and costs of £650.
Price, who denied the charge, said the horsebox had drifted into another lane because she was a "woman driver".
Magistrates also ordered three points to be added to her licence after she was convicted of not being in proper control of a vehicle.
Price's lawyer, Nick Freeman, said an appeal would be lodged against both conviction and sentence.
End Quote Katie Price
I'm just not used to a lorry that big. I was probably a bit scared because it was on a motorway”
Patrol car officers said they had seen her on the phone for up to three seconds.
But Price, of Lunghurst Road, Woldingham, Surrey, said there had been no reason for her to use her phone because the horsebox was equipped with hands-free bluetooth equipment.
When she was asked why she veered, she told the court: "Because I'm a typical woman driver.
"I'm just not used to a lorry that big. I was probably a bit scared because it was on a motorway.
"I don't remember veering but it is quite difficult."
Chairwoman of the bench Valerie Bender said: "We have considered the evidence in the offence and the relevant issue in this case is: was the driver distracted from driving with proper control by holding something in her hand?
"Our findings on the disputed issues are visual evidence from the DVD showing the horsebox to cross from lane one to lane two.
"Both officers gave evidence that they saw Miss Price holding a mobile phone in her right hand whilst driving.
She added: "We found the police officers to be credible witnesses.
"We are satisfied that the prosecution have proved the charge of driving whilst not in a position to have proper control beyond reasonable doubt."
During the trial Ms Price said Pc Mann, of Sussex Police, had previously stopped her.'Vehicle drifting'
When the prosecution put it to her that she was using "some sort of device", Ms Price replied: "No."
Prosecutor Rachel Beckett said: "Pc Mann observed a vehicle which he saw drifting slightly into lane two from lane one.
"Pc Mann drove up next to the vehicle and saw Miss Price was driving and saw that she was using a mobile phone.
"When the defendant saw the police car, she held the device down. Pc Mann's colleague, PCSO [Edward] Mitchell, also saw Miss Price using the mobile phone for some two to three seconds."
Earlier Pc Phillip Mann also told the court he had seen Ms Price making a texting motion on a black iPhone-type handset before pulling her over.
But the model, who was driving the horsebox with her husband, cagefighter Alex Reid, told the officer it had not been a phone but a perfume bottle, the court heard.
Pc Mann said she had also shown him a mobile phone covered in gem stones and he reported her before allowing her on her way.