City lawyer who fabricated kidnap story to be released
24 February 2012
Former Macfarlanes partner, Francis Bridgeman, who was jailed for 12 months for perverting the course of justice will be released after serving one month behind bars.
Bridgeman, 43, was arrested in April 2010 after his Range Rover Sport was found abandoned and wrapped around a lamp post near his home in East Sussex. When the police knocked on his door later the same night, Bridgeman claimed he had been kidnapped at knifepoint by a gang of thugs when got into his car at the train station. He told police that his assailants had hooded him and driven him around before dumping him in a field.
||Francis Bridgeman leaving court last December
However Bridgeman's DNA on the car's airbag, a failed breathalyser test and a statement by one of his colleagues that Bridgeman had downed five pints of Guinness before getting on the train were enough to blow some serious holes in his story. The 'Millionaire Lawyer' ((c) the Daily Mail) was brought before Lewes Crown Court, which found him guilty of perjury and sentenced him to 12 months.
But there's a twist that makes this bizarre story rather tragic. Bridgeman is the main carer for his seriously ill wife and for the last few years has taken considerable time off work to care for her. This week the Court of Appeal was persuaded that the Bridgeman should be freed after serving just one month because of her illness.
His sentence will be suspended for two years.