TV’S Robin Hood will have to live out the famous outlaws’ motto of giving to the poor – by order of a court.
Actor Jonas Armstrong, from Lytham, was ordered to do 80 hours’ unpaid work at a charity shop as part of the punishment for being three-and-a-half times the drink drive limit in his car and then abusing police called to the scene.
Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard how the 31-year-old put in arguably the worst performance of his life in front of a car park’s CCTV cameras.
Armstrong – who completed three series as Robin in the hit BBC series and who has just finished a series of Prisoners’ Wives – admitted being drunk in charge of his £30,000 Audi car at Queens Square car park in Liverpool on March 11.
Peter Bardsley, prosecuting, said Armstrong went into the 600 place car park after going out drinking in the city.
Mr Bardsley added: “It was 7.15pm on a Sunday and the car park attendant watched him on CCTV.
“He was struggling to use a credit card to pay for a car park ticket at an automated machine and was staggering around.
“After a few minutes he got a ticket and went back to his car. The attendant went to the car to check the ticket after informing the police about the situation. Armstrong was sat in the driver’s seat and the engine was running.
“The attendant took Armstrong’s ticket away for checking and when he returned found that the car had been moved from the bay it had been parked in.
“The police arrived and formed the opinion that Armstrong was very drunk. He was asked to provide a breath test and became hostile.
“He told the police ‘It is freezing. I had the engine on because its freezing’. When asked again to provide a test he swore and said ‘I am not going to do it’.”
Armstrong – real name William Jonas Armstrong – was arrested and when breath tested at the police station was three-and-a-half times over the limit with 127 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.
He was questioned for 18 minutes about the offence – which can carry a six week jail term – but made no comment.
His lawyer Fergal Allen said the case had been transferred to Blackpool because his client lived in a flat on Central Beach, Lytham.
Mr Allen said: “My client wishes to apologise, he was extremely intoxicated at the time, but is adamant he did not intend to drive home from Liverpool that day.
“He had far far too much to drink and decided to sober up in the comfort of his own car with the heater on. He did not mean to be obstructive. If he was it was out of character and an act of stupidity.
“He is a young man who has had the benefit of some success in his profession. But it is a precarious one and he is currently not working although he will be working later this year in Bristol. He will be on location in some areas which are inaccessible to public transport.”
As well as the unpaid work Armstrong was banned from driving for six months, was put on 12 months supervision and told to pay £120 costs.
Armstrong, who was educated at public school Arnold in South Shore has a previous conviction for being drunk and disorderly in 2010.
The incident saw him get into a drunken row with a taxi driver and abused police officers who came to arrest him near his St Annes home.
He then decided to try to get the fare from neighbours and attempted to wake them by shouting: “It’s Robin Hood, ” through their letter boxes.
Armstrong attended acting school at RADA and got his first role in TV series Teachers.