Winehouse stays away from husband's sentencing

Amy Winehouse failed to show up in court today to support her husband Blake Fielder-Civil as he was sentenced for trying to evade jail for attacking a pub landlord.

Amy Winehouse failed to show up in court today to support her husband Blake Fielder-Civil as he was sentenced for trying to evade jail for attacking a pub landlord.

The singer, who has been a regular in the public gallery, was a no-show at Snaresbrook Crown Court, in east London.

He pleaded guilty last month to assaulting James King, the landlord of the Macbeth in Hoxton, with a friend, Michael Brown, and perverting the course of justice by attempting to bribe the victim.

With Brown and two other men, Fielder-Civil tried to pay off Mr King in an attempt to have the trial abandoned, Jocelyn Ledwood, prosecuting told the court.

She said Brown was kicked out of the pub on June 20, 2006 and returned with Fielder-Civil at closing time.

Brown punched Mr King in the face, knocking him to the floor.

She went on: “Mr Brown and Mr Fielder-Civil then proceeded to punch and kick him while he was on the ground trapped between the double doors of the pub.”

The assault left Mr King, 36, with a broken nose and cheekbone and the pair were arrested and due to go on trial when Fielder-Civil received a text message saying: “What happened at court? We were thinking about getting Amy to pay that silly c*** off.”

The trial was delayed and Anthony Kelly, 26, and James Kennedy, 20, were engaged to broker the pay-off, the court heard. Kelly and Kennedy then tried to sell footage of the incident to a newspaper reporter.

The reporter was told Mr King would be paid off with £200,000 (€252,000) and that “ultimately the money would come from Miss Winehouse”, Miss Ledwood said.

The court heard the singer took £13,000 (€16,400) in cash from her manager shortly before the trial was due to start.

Fielder-Civil was arrested last November and police found £2,950 (€3,700) in his wife’s handbag and nearly £2,000 (€2,500) more in his pockets.

Miss Ledwood said Winehouse had more than £200,000 (€252,000) in her account “at the relevant times” but she said the singer would have needed a signature from her parents to release the cash.

Jeremy Dein QC, for Fielder-Civil, urged the judge to suspend his sentence or sentence him to the nine months he has already served. He said Fielder-Civil “was of exemplary good character”.

He went on: “This has been a nightmare scenario, not just for him but for his wife and his family.”

He was interrupted by Judge David Radford, who said: “No previous convictions rather than exemplary good character, if what I read about him and the use of drugs is true.”

Mr Dein said the attack was the result of a “drugs-ridden lack of judgment rather than callousness”. He said Fielder-Civil was “contrite” and had signed up for drug rehabilitation treatment for when he is released.

He said Fielder-Civil had an “intimate relationship with drug addiction” including heroin and cocaine.

“For almost half his life he has been in the clutches of drugs.”

He said Fielder-Civil had a history of self-harm and suicide attempts but was determined to rebuild his life with his wife.

He said: “It’s their ambition to divorce themselves from hard drugs, not to separate themselves from each other.

“He knows that if he fails, an appointment with calamity awaits, not just for him but for his wife as well.”

Brown, 40, from Carshalton, south London, has pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and perverting the course of justice.

Kelly, from Chalk Farm, north London, and Kennedy, from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, admit perverting the course of justice. They will be sentenced this afternoon.

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