Ex-EastEnders star Dean Gaffney asked on to driving course
DERBYSHIRE police have written to actor Dean Gaffney inviting him to take part in a road safety awareness course.
The force sent the former EastEnders star a letter asking him to participate in the one-day scheme run by the Automobile Association.
Called a driver alertness course, the national scheme is offered as an alternative to prosecuting drivers for careless driving offences and imposing fines and penalty points.
Mr Gaffney, 35, suffered head injuries when his Mini Cooper hit the central barrier on the southbound A38, between Markeaton roundabout and Kingsway, on January 30.
He was staying in the city while appearing in Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced at Derby Theatre and was detained in hospital after the incident.
A spokesman for Derbyshire police would not confirm that the person to whom they have written was the actor.
But he said: "Derbyshire Police have written to a 35-year-old motorist inviting him to take part in a driver alertness course.
"This follows an accident he was involved in on January 30 on the A38 in Derby.
"The course is offered to some drivers who are involved in road accidents, as an alternative to possibly facing prosecution for driving offences."
Mr Gaffney, who shot to fame playing Robbie Jackson in the BBC soap, was knocked unconscious in the accident.
Two weeks later, after making a full recovery, he appeared on stage for the first time in Let's Dance for Comic Relief. A long scar on his forehead could be seen during his appearance.
He reached the final of the competition and decided to invite Royal Derby Hospital surgeon Sujeev Rajapakse, who operated on his head injury, and ward nurses Alison Reynolds and Tina Murphy to watch him perform in London last Saturday.
Mr Gaffney's agent is the Middlesex-based firm Roger Carey Associates who spoke to the actor yesterday.
A spokesman for the company said: "Mr Gaffney does not wish to make a comment on this story. As far as he is concerned the accident is in the past."
Mr Gaffney is a friend of Derbyshire actor Des Coleman.
Mr Coleman said: "I have spoken to Dean and he is looking forward to going on the course."
It takes place at Derby Conference Centre, in London Road, and costs £92. It is classroom-based and lasts for three-and-a-half hours.
A spokesman for AA Drivetech, which runs the course, said: "It consists of an interactive presentation and discussion on all aspects of driving decision-making in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
"It reviews a number of driving scenarios, including collisions, to understand their root cause."