George Michael Crashes into Snappy Snaps
There was something of the greatest hits (pun intended, as – be warned - are all the rest that follow) of the self-indulgent pop star about the whole George Michael Snappy Snaps incident in 2010. The singer’s problems with cannabis (i.e. getting caught with it repeatedly) had led among other things to a driving ban in 2007, so he was effectively re-hashing (sorry) old material when Wham! he crashed his Range Rover into the photographic shop Snappy Snaps in Hampstead in the early hours of July 4 2010.
According to the prosecution George Michael was it seems discovered slumped over the wheel. Apparently he showed great presence of mind when two police officers banged on his car window to rouse him. First he seemingly tried to put the vehicle in gear, but stopped before he went went. Then, with that car resting by the cracked and damaged corner of the shop he denied crashing into anything. Perhaps he was thinking of a different corner.
At Hampstead Police Station he was found to have two cannabis cigarettes on him, and failed a fitness to drive test.
Arriving for his inevitably much publicised ‘celebrity’ court appearances – he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of cannabis on August 24 2010 and returned on September 14 for his sentencing - he was greeted by crowds of photographers, though it is unclear if any of them were simply angry about their favourite shop being rammed. During his case we had those classics of the genre the story of prescription drug use, deep shame and remorse, a post-offence period at a clinic to address his problems, counselling, and naturally the apology to fans. We can throw in another old standard, the fact that he was just at the point of getting back his creativity. And to think he had apologised to fans in 2008 for boring them with his antics.
Michael was said to be shocked at his custodial sentence, eight weeks (he served four), as obviously he had not been praying for time, but evidently the system in the form of District Judge John Perkins had lost patience with him – the ageing star was also banned from driving for five years. Which maybe restored the faith of a few non-celebrity road users.
He began his sentence in Pentonville, before moving to the Club Tropicana level of prison accommodation, Highpoint in Suffolk, from which he was released on October 11 2010. The £1250 fine imposed on the 47 year old star, his payment for the shop to be repaired, and the need to employ a driver or take the bus until 2015, will not have eaten greatly into his bank balance – his personal fortune estimated at around £90 million.
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