A former MacFarlanes partner who resigned from the firm last year has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and ordered to pay £4,200 after being found guilty of drink-driving, perverting the course of justice and two further charges.
During his trial Francis Bridgeman claimed to have been kidnapped by an armed gang to avoid being arrested for drink-driving in April 2010. Bridgeman’s statement led to a kidnap investigation being launched.
He was convicted on the four charges last month (16 December 2011).
Passing sentence at Lewes Crown Court today, Justice Guy Anthony said: “You wasted valuable police time and public expense in order to escape a drink-driving offence when you should have had the courage and decency to plead guilty from the outset. To pervert the course of justice is a serious offence and warrants a custodial sentence.”
As well as the 12-month prison sentence, Bridgeman has been disqualified from driving for 18 months.
Companies House filings show that he left Macfarlanes’ LLP on 31 July 2011.
Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin said: “This is a personal tragedy for Francis.”