Eubank's Hummer blow for justice

25th February 2005 at 00:00
Imagine the worst type of "school-run mum" and you might think of a jodhpur-wearing lady in a spotless 4x4 Range Rover driving a few hundred metres up the road to transport little Phoebe inside the gates of her exclusive private school.

Add a little LSD to your tea and you might get closer to the monstrous reality that confronts inhabitants of Brighton at 8am every morning: the jodhpur-wearing former middleweight boxing champion of the world Chris Eubank roaring through the town centre in a giant American Humvee 4x4 to drop his offspring at the exclusive Brighton college private school. Of course, Mr Eubank doesn't always take the Humvee - sometimes he prefers a 10-wheel truck.

On Monday, a brewery lorry made the mistake of bringing the Brighton school run to a halt for 20 minutes by parking in the middle of Sydney Street to deliver beer to a pub. It was at that point that events began to take a bizarre turn.

Mr Eubank roared up behind the jam full of parents and taxi drivers and soon took control of the situation. "First, I asked the lorry driver to move on but he said he wanted to finish the job. I said 'Move it or I will move it for you'.

"He was actually quite brazen. He said 'Go on then!' I climbed up and saw the keys in the ignition." The driver, realising his bluff was being called, tried to stop the former pugilist but quickly realised this was unwise and, instead, watched bemusedly as his 45-foot lorry was driven off down the street.

"I drove it 100 metres and parked it up where it wouldn't get in anybody's way. As I returned to my car, there were plenty of thumbs up and horns beeping." And then everything returned to normal on the Brighton school run.

"I asked my eldest son, as we drove off, whether I had done the right thing," Mr Eubank relates.

"He said 'Yes'. I said: 'What you saw there is not the way to behave. No, I wasn't right. Morally, I may think it was right but legally it was wrong.'"

After dropping his three children at Brighton college, Mr Eubank drove back and turned himself in to the police, who arrested him on suspicion of the aggravated taking away of a vehicle - and locked him in a cell for the rest of the morning.

The Diary cannot help feeling a sneaking sense of admiration for the Humvee-driving Eubank - surely a superhero for every hassled school-run parent.

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