TV Highlights

Barbara Knox pleads not guilty to drink-driving

'Coronation Street' actress Barbara Knox pleaded not guilty to drink-driving in court this morning (24.04.14).

The 80-year-old actress - who has played Rita Tanner in the ITV soap since 1972 - appeared at Macclesfield Magistrates' Court this morning to enter her plea in relation to the alleged offence which occurred in Knutsford, Cheshire, on March 10.

Barbara was arrested following an afternoon out with her daughter Maxine Ashcroft, 56.

It was Maxine who was initially breathalysed as she drove home with her famous mother in the passenger's seat, and was found to be three times the legal alcohol limit at Middlewich Police Station.

However, when the soap star was later required to go to Knutsford Police Station to bail out her daughter, cops believed she had also been driving under the influence and was arrested, being charged with the offence on April 4.

Officers acted after Barbara arrived at the station in a car appearing to be ''intoxicated'' and after she refused a lift home and decided to drive her Jaguar vehicle a ''short distance'' she was breathalysed and arrested.

A blood test on the actress showed she had 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood in her system, with is just over the limit of 80 microgrammes.

Barbara's lawyer Nick Freeman - who has defended several stars on traffic offences, including David Beckham and Jeremy Clarkson - entered her plea and also accused police officers of ''physically'' manhandling her.

Freeman told the court: ''She was physically manhandled in the police station. It was agreed she was in a highly emotionally-charged state ... She went into her car. She reverses a short distance, that is not in dispute. She doesn't dispute driving or being in a public place.''

Knox - who suffers from high-blood pressure and hearing difficulties - will go on trial on July 23 for two days at Macclesfield Magistrates' Court.

24-04-2014

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