Coronation Street star Barbara Knox admits drink-drive charge

Barbara Knox Image copyright PA
Image caption Soap star Knox changed her plea to guilty as she was due to go on trial

Coronation Street actress Barbara Knox has been banned from driving for a year after admitting a drink-drive charge.

Knox, 81, who plays Rita Tanner in the ITV soap, was charged after being held at a police station in Knutsford, Cheshire, in March last year.

She had gone to the station near her home after her daughter was arrested on suspicion of the same offence.

Knox denied the charge last April but changed her plea as she was due to be tried at Crewe Magistrates' Court.

In addition to the driving ban, the defendant, who was appointed an MBE in 2010, was fined £3000 and ordered to pay costs of £1750.

'Author of misfortune'

At a previous hearing, the court heard that because she had been drinking she was told by police not to drive home when she arrived at the station on 10 March to see her daughter.

The court heard Knox was offered a lift home by officers but she declined, as well as ignoring officers' advice about not driving home.

Following her subsequent arrest, a blood test showed she had 85mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.

Judge Brigid Knight told Knox her original not guilty plea had wasted court time and money.

Knox's lawyer Nick Freeman accepted the actress was "the author of her own misfortune".

He said his client "considers drink-driving to be serious" and had not sought to justify her actions.

Family gathering

Knox's daughter Maxine Ashcroft, was banned from driving for two years after she was found to be nearly three times the legal limit.

Tests showed Ashcroft, of Kencot, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, had 97 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of breath - 35 mg is the legal limit.

She had been stopped by police while driving a relative home from a family gathering in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

Her mother went to the police station to visit her before she was arrested herself.

Coronation Street said it would not be commenting on the case as it was a "private and personal matter".

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