Bartender killed drinker by serving 56 shots, court finds

Nicholas Falconer

A French bartender has received a suspended jail sentence after being convicted of manslaughter for serving a man 56 shots during a drinking contest which lead to his death.

Bartender Gilles Crepin, 47, admitted he had made a mistake by displaying the shots record on a noticeboard as he received a four month suspended sentence by a local court on Wednesday.

Mr Crepin has also been banned from working in a bar for a year, and his lawyer has said he will appeal the ruling.

Renaud Prudhomme, 56, broke the shots record at the bar called Starter in the central French town of Clermont-Ferrand.

He had spent the evening with his daughter and friends who helped him home, but the emergency services had to be called and Mr Prudhomme died in hospital the following day.

"It's a decision guided by emotion and the unconscious desire to set an example," said Renaud Portejoie, Mr Crepin's lawyer, who had called for the case to be thrown out.

Portejoie said his client bore no responsibility and that it was the man's daughter who had pushed him to break the record. In addition he cited existing respiratory and alcohol abuse problems.

"We can't ask every customer who buys alcohol to present their medical certificates," he said.

Antoine Portal, a lawyer for Prudhomme's daughter, said his client was not at the bar at the time of the competition and that she approved of the year-long ban on Crepin's future work as a bartender.

"My client is relieved by this decision.

"We want to remind some professionals that it is illegal to serve alcohol to clients who are in an advanced state of inebriation."


Topics:  alcohol editors picks

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