Sky Sports News presenter Kirsty Gallacher arrives at Slough Magistrates' Court
I wonder how Kirsty Gallacher is coping.
The headlines have been screaming in outrage: 'Three-times over the limit!' 'Kirsty, banned!' 'Driving drunk to collect her sons!'
I feel certain her shame in court would have felt overwhelming. But the anonymous internet commentariat wanted more;
'Stuck up ice queen who still hasn't publicly apologised for her disgusting behaviour.' (Chloe, East Anglia)
'She needs a hefty fine. A year in a cell; and to lose her job. Harsh but people like this always seem to think they're above the law of us lesser mortals.' (Dave, London)
'She should be boiled in a vat of oil.' (Sasha, Herts)
When the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, our online world can be a tough place for a women. Reading the judgements of the faceless voices in the comments section are a pretty easy way to self-harm if you don't have someone there to help tear you away, or remind you who you really are.
And look, I get it. Drunk drivers are terrorists wearing a seatbelt, their ability to cause hurt equal to that of a jihadi with a grenade. My husband's favourite sister was killed by one when she was just 16. He is still haunted by her death.
I have been to parties where doctors, lawyers and senior consultants have sloped off into their cars in the early hours, half the spirit cabinet the worse for wear, saying 'I'm perfectly fine' or 'It's only a short journey' or 'No one cares in the countryside'.
No you are not. It still matters. And we all care.
And we all want to scream at these people who can easily afford a taxi or a lousy Uber, but refuse because they are the masters of the universe, the clever ones who won't be told what to do, the superstars who believe the law applies only to plebs much lower down the food chain.
But on Saturday 12 August Kirsty Gallacher was none of those things.
She wasn't falling out the pub into her car; she'd left it in the car park. She didn't think the law was for other people; she just didn't know she was breaking it.
Gallacher admitted a charge of driving a motor vehicle while above the legal limit
Gallacher is led into a car by her legal team as she leaves Slough Magistrates' Court today
She went to bed, woke up and was on her way to collect her children from their dad's, as she had promised.
Her lawyer, Jennifer Dempster, said: 'This is not intentional drink driving, she was not leaving the pub at midnight and driving home. She is horrified she is in this position. She is very remorseful and apologises.'
Sorry is never good enough for the mob. A wise man once told me 'Never say sorry. Never apologise'. And he was right, it will never satiate their lust for a scalp.
Of course there are no excuses. A drunk driver is precisely that – at whatever time of day. And the fact she was on her way to pick up her children while drunk is another stick to beat her with. Who puts their children in harm's way? If an ex-husband of mine tried to drive my children when drunk, it would be the last time he ever saw them on my watch.
As Judge Lachhar passed sentence Gallacher was visibly upset, biting her bottom lip and struggling to find words to confirm she had understood - simply nodding her head
Getting over a divorce isn't an excuse either. Although mine nearly turned me into a spinster with gas and anger issues.
District judge Lachhar described the charges as 'very serious'. As well as a two-year driving ban, he ordered her to carry out 100 hours of community service.
And rightly so.
But I am strangely uncomfortable with the reaction to Kirsty's fall from grace. Not the headlines, not the judgement, not the court case, and not even the views of those who hate drunk drivers as much as the rest of us.
I am uncomfortable with the simmering malevolence of so many who seem to want more than justice to be done.
'Sack her.' 'Burn her.' 'Boil her.'
Gallacher blamed the 'stress of divorce' from former rugby star Mark Sampson as the cause of her drink driving (Left, Gallacher on Sky and right, the pair together)
There is something medieval about all this. As an epileptic, I know a few centuries before I would have been burned as a