Police are considering appealing against the sentence given to the former model Katie Price after she avoided a jail term for drink-driving following a crash near her home.
Price, 43, was handed a 16-week suspended sentence at Crawley magistrates court on Wednesday after she admitted drink-driving while disqualified and without insurance.
District judge Amanda Kelly told Price she was unable to send her to prison because she had complied with requirements of the court, including attending a rehabilitation centre, adding: “The public may be appalled to hear that I can’t send you to jail today.”
Supt James Collis, the head of roads policing for Sussex police and Surrey police, said officers were looking into whether an appeal could be launched over the sentence.
He said the sentencing, “as the judge explained, could have and should have been much worse and, in our view, Price is extremely lucky not to be spending Christmas behind bars”.
“Given the circumstances and her history of motoring offences, it’s clear she did not consider the risk of her actions to the wider public or the implications for her own family,” he added.
“We are now exploring whether we can appeal this sentence.”
The sentence was criticised on the front page of the Sun newspaper on Thursday under the headline “What Price justice?”
Jonathan Karani, prosecuting, told the court that Price was involved in the collision on the B2135 near Partridge Green, West Sussex, on 28 September.
Police arrived shortly afterwards and she admitted she should not have been driving, the court heard.
Price admitted the offences in a hearing at the same court on 29 September.
At that hearing, her sentencing was adjourned on the condition that she have treatment at the Priory Centre, not commit any further offences, and be banned from driving in the interim.
Price was given a 16-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months, a two-year driving ban, 100 hours’ unpaid work, 20 sessions of rehabilitation work with probation, and was ordered to pay £213.
Kelly told the court that Price already owed £7,358 in relation to previous offences.
She told the defendant: “You appear to think that you are above the law.
“You have one of the worst driving records I have seen. You have been banned from driving on five occasions.
“The public may be appalled to hear that I can’t send you to jail today. But the law says that when a person has complied with the terms of their release then you have a legitimate expectation not to be sent to prison today, even though you deserve to spend Christmas behind bars.”