Drunk lawyer who drove his car into oncoming traffic and crashed into a pole is fined £ 10,000
Drunk immigration lawyer who drove his car into oncoming traffic and crashed into a telegraph pole and nine parked vehicles is fined £ 10,000
- Kalum Gunarathna drove drunk in oncoming traffic in February 2019
- The lawyer had quit his job at S. Satha & Co Solicitors, where he was drinking
- He crashed into a telegraph station and nine cars before trying to escape
- He was sentenced to nine months in prison and has now been fined £ 10,000
A prominent lawyer drove his intoxicated car into oncoming traffic and crashed into a telegraph pole and nine parked vehicles, according to a disciplinary hearing.
Kalum Gunarathna quit his job at S. Satha & Co Solicitors after drinking in February 2019 and got into his car, before colliding with oncoming traffic and crashing into a telegraph station.
As the children watched, the veteran lawyer struck parked cars and backed up at high speed in an attempt to flee the scene, but crashed into other cars.
In 2019, Mr Gunarathna was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years and banned from driving for two years.
Now he has been fined £ 10,000 by the Lawyers’ Disciplinary Tribunal, which said it was “fortuitous that no physical damage” was caused during the incident.
Kalum Gunarathna (pictured) quit work after drinking in February 2019 and got into his car, before colliding with oncoming traffic and crashing into a telegraph post
He was working at S. Satha & Co Solicitors in London at the time of the incident, where he specialized in immigration and asylum matters.
The Lawyers Disciplinary Court heard Mr Gunarathna, who graduated as a lawyer in Sri Lanka 35 years ago, quit his job in the evening after drinking and got into his car.
He then collided with oncoming traffic and narrowly avoided a collision, before crashing into a telegraph station and colliding with four parked vehicles, pushing one into the middle of the road.
A witness said he saw him backing up at high speed in an attempt to flee the scene, but he was blocked by one of the cars he had previously hit.
Mr Gunarathna, lawyer in the UK for 17 years, then reversed again and collided with another vehicle, which was directed towards another parked car.
In another attempt to reverse, Mr Gunarathna again crashed into the first car he hit, before hitting two more cars and driving the wrong way round on a one-way street.
The lawyer finally stopped his vehicle after hitting another vehicle, we learned during the hearing.
The witness approached Mr. Gunarathna, who said he had tried to back up to leave but was unable to do so.
The seasoned lawyer was working at S. Satha & Co Solicitors (pictured) in London at the time. Now he has been fined £ 10,000 by the Lawyers Disciplinary Court
Police officers found Mr. Gunarathna smelling strongly of alcohol and having difficulty standing upright.
Mr Gunarathna pleaded guilty and was found guilty of dangerous driving by Snaresbrook Crown Court in London in April 2019.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison suspended for two years, 150 hours of unpaid work and a driving ban for two years.
Mr Gunarathna was also ordered to pay £ 750 in compensation and £ 1,500 in court costs.
The lawyers’ disciplinary court said Mr Gunarathna should have known himself better as a man with his professional experience.
It said: ‘[Mr Gunarathna] Should have known better as a man of his age and professional background. He was alone and highly guilty.
“It was fortuitous that no physical harm was done to the public, but undoubtedly emotional harm was done to those who watched the events as they unfolded.
“These observers included children in a vehicle with their father.”
The court ordered Mr Gunarathna to pay £ 10,000 and £ 2,000 in costs.