Jockey Charlie Deutsch is said to be “deeply embarrassed and ashamed” after being sentenced to 10 months in prison for dangerous driving while over the drink drive limit and escaping police custody.
The 21-year-old appeared at Gloucester Crown Court on Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, escape and drink driving following an incident in March.
Deutsch was stopped by police in Cheltenham where he was breathalysed and arrested. He then left the police car and returned to his car where he left the scene, with the dangerous driving consisting of a 4.81 mile pursuit with speeds of up to 114 miles per hour whilst he had alcohol in his system.
Deutsch was sentenced to four months for escaping lawful custody, six months consecutive for dangerous driving and four months concurrent for excess alcohol.
He was also disqualified from driving for 17 months and will have to take an extended retest. He was also ordered to pay £250 in compensation to the officer injured during the escape from custody.
Paul Struthers, chief executive of the Professional Jockeys Association, said Deutsch is hoping to appeal against his prison sentence, but said the jockey had made a “catastrophic mistake”.
He told At The Races: “Charlie is deeply embarrassed and ashamed, but anyone who knows Charlie knows it is deeply out of character. He’s never been in trouble before with any authority, not even the British Horseracing Authority let alone the police.
“It (the sentence) was a surprise and I know an application to appeal has been submitted by his legal team.
“He’s been sentenced to 10 months, he’s eligible to be released after five, albeit he is eligible for release earlier than that with good behaviour.
“All being well, even if his appeal fails, he will be out within three months.
“Having gone to jail his licence will be suspended, but people make mistakes and this is a catastrophic mistake, but racing as a general rule is good at giving people second chances.
“Lots of people have been very supportive, particularly Venetia Williams (Deutsch’s main employer). He is a very nice, talented young man and I’m sure he will be able to come back.
“Joe Colliver (fellow jockey) was able to come back from something similar and we’ll offer him every support.”
Deutsch, who won the 2016 Lanzarote Hurdle, landed the Grand National Trial at Haydock earlier this year on the Williams-trained Yala Enki.
Confirming an appeal had been lodged and reiterating Deutsch was “deeply remorseful”, Struthers added in a statement: “Nothing can excuse Charlie’s actions on the night of March 30 and he is deeply remorseful and ashamed of his actions.
“A custodial sentence was always a possibility but following a positive pre-sentence report from the Probation Service, which did not recommend a custodial sentence, it was still very disappointing that Charlie was given a 10-month prison sentence.”
He went on: “Charlie would like to reiterate his apology to everyone and would like to thank all those who have supported him and continue to do so, in particular his family, his partner and trainer Venetia Williams.”