'Homes Under the Hammer' presenter fails to get driving conviction overturned over asthma claims

Tom Beasley
Contributor
'Homes Under the Hammer' presenter Martin Roberts attends the National Lottery Awards in 2018. (Credit: Ian West/PA Wire)

Homes Under the Hammer presenter Martin Roberts has failed to get a driving conviction overturned, despite claiming his asthma made it impossible for him to take a breath test.

He called for the law to be changed and described the ruling as representing a “terrible day for asthma sufferers”.

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The 56-year-old TV personality was fined £3,461 and banned from driving for 23 months by magistrates in March after he was convicted of failing to provide a sample of breath.

Roberts was stopped by a security guard who believed him to be drunk and prevented him from leaving a car park in his Volvo.

He was arrested on foot nearby, with sergeant Andrew Mundy stating the presenter was “slurring his words” and that he could smell alcohol.

Dion Dublin, Martin Roberts and Lucy Alexander on BBC property show 'Homes Under the Hammer'. (Credit: BBC)

Officers accused Roberts of sucking rather than blowing the breathalyser and charged with him with failing to provide a specimen.

Only one successful test could be obtained, showing Roberts to be almost twice the legal alcohol limit, but Roberts claimed his inhaler could have contaminated the reading.

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He appeared at Bristol Crown Court last week to challenge the conviction, but recorder Mr Noel Casey dismissed his appeal and imposed £520 in court costs.

"This is a bad day for me,” he told the Bristol Post. “But it is also a terrible day for asthma sufferers.”

TV Presenter Martin Roberts arrives at The Moet British Independent Film Awards 2015. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for The Moet British Independent Film Awards)

He added: “My failure to provide a sample was for genuine medical reasons.

“I would have happily provided a blood or urine sample but was never offered the opportunity to do so.

"I believe the law needs to be changed to protect other asthma sufferers like myself from being prejudiced against in this grossly unfair way, by making it mandatory that they are offered an alternative way of providing a sample.”

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Roberts has fronted Homes Under the Hammer since it started in 2003 and has also hosted various radio programmes.

In 2016, he appeared on I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here and finished in sixth place.

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