As a Vatican consultant and a former spiritual adviser to student priests in Rome, you might have expected Monsignor Anthony Figueiredo to be a model of sobriety.
But he was pictured ‘visibly sloshed’ with his dog collar askew after his hire car hit a pregnant solicitor’s 4×4 on the M25. He was more than twice the drink-drive limit.
Figueiredo, 54, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, in the US, pulled over after the rush-hour accident and was photographed in his dishevelled state by the other driver, Olivia Parfitt, on her phone.
Miss Parfitt, who is five months pregnant with her first child, dialled 999, but Figueiredo drove off.
Police stopped him further round the M25 in Surrey on October 1. He was breathalysed, held in a police cell until he sobered up and released after being charged with driving a motor vehicle above the legal limit.
He was found to have 81microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35. He pleaded guilty at Guildford Magistrates’ Court on October 19 and was banned from driving for 18 months.
Monsignor is a title bestowed on a priest who has distinguished himself and been honoured by the Pope for service to the church.
Miss Parfitt, 35, was on her way home from work to Guildford, where she lives with her husband, also a solicitor, when the Nissan Qashqai driven by Figueiredo hit her Range Rover Evoque.
She told the Mail outside court: ‘He came out of nowhere, hit the rear passenger side of my car and shunted me across one lane. We both pulled over to the side of the road. He told me it was my fault, and I said ‘No, don’t be so ridiculous’ – because he hit me from behind. I could smell alcohol on his breath and he was visibly sloshed.
‘I said ‘You’re drunk aren’t you?’ He shrugged. Then I phoned 999.’
When he told her he had to catch a flight, she said he should stay because police were on their way. He ‘hung around for few minutes shuffling about’ before driving off.
Miss Parfitt said: ‘I was really shaken up.’ She said she was taken to hospital and the baby was checked on and given an emergency scan – which was fine.
Figueiredo appeared in court wearing his dog collar and gave his address as his mother’s home in Watford. He told magistrates he was ashamed of the drink-driving.
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Source: Christian Post