WORLD boxing champion Chris Eubank was yesterday fined #250 with #1450

costs for driving without due care and attention in an accident in which

a man was killed.

Eubank apologised in court to the family of the man who died when the

boxer's Range Rover left the road and crashed into a building site.

At the end of his evidence he said he had not spoken to anyone about

the tragedy and that this could be construed as being callous. ''That is

not so,'' declared Eubank, 26.

''All I can do is apologise now, and I will do so after I leave this

court, no matter what happens as to the verdict.''

But last night an uncle of crash victim Kevin Lawlor denounced the

fighter's apology as insincere and six months too late.

Outside Haywards Heath Magistrates Court in West Sussex, Mr John

Smith, 46, described the #250 fine as ''like a drop in the ocean'', and

said Mr Lawlor's mother would never forgive Eubank ''since behaving the

way he has behaved and conducted himself following Kevin's death''.

He said Eubank appeared to be insensitive, to lack dignity, to be

insincere, arrogant, self-opinionated, and superficial.

Mr Lawlor had been mown down because of Eubank's carelessness, said Mr

Smith. ''He tries to project the image of a deep-thinking, articulate

gentleman, but fails miserably.''

Eubank, who denied driving carelessly, was found guilty by

magistrates. His licence was endorsed with six penalty points.

Later, before being driven away from the court, Eubank said: ''This

has been a tragic accident. I want to say sorry publicly to the family.

I have been advised for the last six months not to say anything

publicly. All I can say is my thoughts and sympathies are with Mr

Lawlor's family.''

In his courtroom apology the World Boxing Organisation

super-middleweight champion turned towards relatives of 33-year-old

building worker Mr Lawlor and said he had wanted to pay his respects,

but it had not been possible.

Eubank, of Hove, East Sussex, was said by his counsel, Mr Richard

Benson, to have been deeply unhappy at what had happened in the accident

last February, when his car left the A23 London-Brighton road and hit Mr


Mr Benson said Eubank had been under great emotional strain, and had

felt frustrated because he had had to wait so long to be able to express

his feelings publicly.

The boxer had been worried that elements of the community might have

regarded him as being somewhat callous and cold about what had happened.

''He urges me to emphasise it would be quite wrong to form that view,''

said counsel. ''He is deeply unhappy at what happened, and felt

frustrated at being unable to express these sentiments.''

The chairman of the magistrates, Mr Tom Craig, said he was sure people

would have valued what Eubank had said.

The chairman said the case had attracted a great deal of publicity. It

was clear whatever punishment was imposed Eubank had already been

affected by the tragic results of his carelessness, and whatever

sentence was passed would not compensate Mr Lawlor's family for his


''Our sentence in any case is not meant in any way to place a value on

Mr Lawlor's life.''

The court heard the tragedy happened as Eubank and his two brothers

were driving to Gatwick aiport to fly to see their grandmothers in


Miss Maria Higgins, prosecuting, said that although he had been

driving within the speed limit he should have been travelling much

slower and had been unable to control the vehicle.

PC David Dudley said that in an interview after the accident Eubank

said he had thought there was grit or pebbles on the road, and he

touched the brakes, which caused the car to swerve from side to side and

eventually leave the road.

He told police he had been travelling at 58mph and had thought he

should slow down. He thought the vehicle's power steering had

contributed to the swaying, because it was light.

Evidence was given that the nearside tyres of the vehicle deflated in

the accident. Pressures in the offside tyres were 46 lbs at the front

and 54 lbs at the rear. The recommended pressures were 28 at the front

and 35 at the rear.

Forensic scientist David Price said he would not expect this to have

any effect on the handling of the car.

Eubank, smartly dressed in a blue suit, described himself as a


He told the court he regularly checked the tyre pressures, putting 35

lbs in each tyre.

On the day of the accident he had not experienced difficulty in

handling the vehicle before it began to swerve.

He had thought he would slow down slightly and had touched the brakes,

sensing there was gravel on the road.

Once the vehicle started to sway it was difficult to regain control,

he told the magistrates.

As it went off the road, ''I saw this fellow there, and I couldn't do


Eubank said he had not been wearing a seat belt but he had both hands

on the steering wheel and had been concentrating on the journey. He had

not been driving without care.

Asked why he had been in the outside lane of the dual carriageway he

said: ''You have two lanes. It was my choice''.

In cross-examination he was asked why he had not seen a Rolls-Royce

which the court heard was following him.

He said: ''I have had 32 fights. I walk into the arena where there are

thousands of people usually booing me. I hear them, but it does not

register, it does not make an imprint on my mind.''