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Porsche playboy is serial driving offender; EXCLUSIVE Jailed rich kid to be quizzed over Midlanders' deaths.

Byline: BY NICK McCARTHY

THE US millionaire who owned the car that killed two Midland businessmen in Florida had previously clocked up FIFTY driving offences.

Playboy Ryan LeVin, 34, was jailed in Chicago last week for failing to complete a drugs programme.

He is due to be quizzed over the death of family men Kenneth Watkinson and Craig Elford, both from Warwickshire.

They were killed on February 13 when a Porsche GT owned by LeVin careered out of control at 100 mph, mounting a pavement and hitting them from behind.

The badly damaged vehicle was later found dumped.

LeVin denies being behind the wheel of the pounds 110,000 sports car before the horror crash.

The millionaire was jailed in his home city of Chicago last week for failing to complete a drugs course, imposed in 2007 when he was given 30 months' probation for sparking a police car chase that left three people injured.

Court records reveal that LeVin has amassed 50 traffic offences since 1992.

Authorities from Fort Lauderdale in Florida may now visit the playboy in jail to take a DNA sample as part of the investigation into the deaths of the Midland businessmen.

Father-of-three Mr Watkinson, 48, and dad-of-two Mr Elford, 39, were mown down as they took a walk just yards from the Courtyard Marriott hotel in Fort Lauderdale.

The friends were in America on a six day trip to recruit staff for their Stratford-upon-Avon pharmaceutical business, Ingala Healthcare Ltd.

Mr Watkinson, from Harbury, and new dad Mr Elford, from Ratley, near Banbury, are believed to have died instantly in the crash.

Mr Watkinson leaves behind wife Kirsty, four year-old son Max, and two older children from a previous relationship, Jonathan, aged 18, and 16-year-old Stephanie.

Mr Elford leaves behind wife Claire and daughters Charlotte, aged three, and 12-week-old baby Olivia.

LeVin was raised in a mock Tudor mansion that has its own ballroom. His parents, Arthur and Shirley, made millions from the company Jewels by Park Lane, which operates at-home parties and was launched by them in 1955.

LeVin family members have released a statement in which they express sympathy with the Midland families, but added that they were handling thematter "in private".

In contrast to the family men who died in Florida, LeVin went through a bitter divorce in 2004.

His then-wife even filed a restraining order against him in May 2003, accusing him of being a drug addict who hid methadone in their car.

She also accused the playboy of abusing Ativan, Valium, marijuana and sleeping pills.

CAPTION(S):

PLAYBOY: Ryan LeVin, 34, was jailed in Chicago last week for failing to complete a drugs programme; SMASHED: The Porsche supercar owned by LeVin which hit the men; The Mercury's splash last week; KILLED: Craig Elford (top) and Kenneth Watkinson
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Words:467
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