Macfarlanes partner invented kidnap story to avoid drink-driving charge, court hears

Former Macfarlanes partner Francis Bridgeman is alleged to have lied to police that he had been kidnapped in order to get out of a drink-driving charge, a court has heard.

Bridgeman, a restructuring partner who recently resigned form the firm’s LLP, claimed he had been attacked by an armed gang who stole his Range Rover Sport and crashed it into a telegraph pole while he was driving home from work, the Daily Mail and The Mirror have reported.

However, prosecutors told Lewes Crown Court that Bridgeman crashed the four-wheel drive vehicle himself on 6 April after drinking five pints of Guinness, according to the reports.

Prosecutor Richard Barton told the court: “This case is about how the defendant on his way home from work one night was drunk and foolishly tried to drive home. He did not succeed. Rather he crashed into a telegraph pole, thereby writing the car off, and then fled the scene of the accident.

“After that he fabricated a web of lies, claiming to have been kidnapped by armed men, and he did so in order to avoid questions about the crash.”

Giving evidence yesterday, Bridgeman said: “I was tired and gagging for a sugar fix,” according to the Daily Mail.

Bridgeman joined Macfarlanes from Allen & Overy in 2009 (31 August 2009).

Companies House filings show he left Macfarlanes’ LLP on 31 July this year.

Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin said: “As you will understand this is a personal matter. Francis resigned in the summer.”

The trial continues.