Brush with stardom leads to depression and Twickenham accident, court hears

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Regret: Carianne Barrow Regret: Carianne Barrow

A former reality TV star, driven to antidepressants due to negative tabloid attention, broke down in court this week as she was sentenced for knocking over a cyclist.

Carianne Barrow, 25, of Varsity Drive, was said to have become depressed following negative press attention after appearing in The Bachelor, where she won the chance to become Gavin Henson’s girlfriend.

Barrow was originally due to stand trial at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on December 7, after previously pleading not guilty to two offences – driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after a road accident. The latter charge was dropped on the day due to lack of evidence.

However, she changed her plea just before the case, due to a 30-page expert report presented to her that morning, according to her defence lawyer, Michael Smith.

Mr Smith said: “It was only today that I have been able to go over that report. She accepts that she must have driven for a moment without the correct amount required.

“She was turning into the car park with a cyclist coming the other way.

“But the CCTV before that seems to suggest the cyclist was on the footpath. That might have contributed to why she did not see the cyclist.”

The cyclist, who was travelling home from Twickenham, was knocked off her bike when Barrow turned into Twickenham stadium car park. The cyclist hit her head and suffered cuts and scratches to her hand and leg.

Mr Smith said: “The cyclist hit the rear of the land rover. [Barrow] had no idea it had anything to do with her at all.”

Speaking about Barrow’s brush with fame, Mr Smith said: “The experience has actually been an entirely negative one” adding that the press coverage of her had been “negative” and “nasty”.

He added: “[The experience] led to her being diagnosed with depression and has no desire to go back into any sort of celebrity world.”

Mr Smith said Barrow was very sorry and told the magistrates: “Whatever sentence you hand down, the knowledge she caused this accident has been a very sobering occasion.”

Prosecution said to take into account that the case was originally down for trial when considering costs and, as there had been two trial dates set now, to consider the inconvenience for witnesses and police who had to attend court twice.

Barrow was ordered to pay a total of £639 including court costs, a fine of £124 and a victim surcharge of £20.

Compensation for the cyclist, who was present at court, is being dealt with separately.

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