Vodka heiress Marinika Smirnova has been fined almost £1,000 after road safety activist Cycling Mikey caught her on her phone while driving through Hyde Park in London.
Smirnova was seen hiding her phone when she realised she was being recorded while driving. She was convicted at Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court of using her phone while driving but failed to appear for the hearing.
She was fined £220, with additional costs of £620 and an £88 victim surcharge.
She also received six penalty points on her driver’s licence due to the incident, which happened in Hyde Park on December 10 the previous year.
The video was taken by ‘CyclingMikey,’ a YouTuber known for recording celebrities breaking traffic rules, who is called Michael van Erp, 50. He spotted Smirnova driving her red Porsche 911 Targa 4S while he was walking his bike in the park.
The YouTuber said: “I saw the lit-up screen on the phone and some changes in the apps she was navigating through. As I leaned in the female driver put the phone away and looked at me – a disdainful look and I don’t blame her for that.
“I did not recognise the driver, but I have since searched her and she is a bit of a celebrity. I look for road behaviours, not particular people or particular cars, although I do admire her good personal plate.”
Initially, police offered Smirnova a fine, but she didn’t respond, which meant the case proceeded to court.
Smirnova then requested a delay in the hearing as she was out of the country, but the request was denied by magistrates.
Bench chairman John Soones said the phone was “in her hands and we feel it was being used.”
Marinika Smirnova comes from a famous family, as her mother was a renowned gymnast and her great-uncle founding the Smirnoff vodka brand in Moscow in 1818, supplying vodka to Emperor Nicholas II.