Bez convicted of attacking ex in money row

Former Happy Mondays star Bez was today convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend at their home after a row over money.

Former Happy Mondays star Bez was today convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend at their home after a row over money.

He accused the mother of his two-year-old son of stealing cash from him and then flew into a rage as he grabbed her neck with both hands and throttled her.

Former partner Monica Ward told Manchester magistrates that he was “looking insane” as he squeezed her neck and she feared for her life.

She said he then threatened to kill her after she alerted police.

Bez – real name Mark Berry who found fame for his freaky dancing in the popular band of the 80s and 90s – claimed he acted in self defence and later labelled the hearing as a “kangaroo court”.

The argument broke out at their flat in Whalley Range, Manchester, following a dispute over the whereabouts of takings from a concert the night before.

The pair, who were in a band called Domino Bones at the time, were paid £300 (€360) but some of the cash was missing the next day on May 24.

Bez, a past winner of 'Celebrity Big Brother', confronted Miss Ward, the band’s lead singer, when he could not find the money.

Giving evidence, the former model said: “He accused me of stealing money which I did not. I told him he had put down the money somewhere and forgotten where he had put it, he has a history of mislaying things.

“It is ridiculous to steal my own wages off my own family.”

She said he dragged her from the kitchen to the front door and was trying to “chuck her out” of the home.

“He had both hands around my neck, he was just looking insane and squeezing me for about five seconds,” she said.

“I felt as if my life was in danger for the first time so I called the police. I did not think he was going to stop.

“He told me he was going to kill me before the police arrived.”

She added their son was in tears as he witnessed the incident.

Bez left the property before he returned a short time later and then kicked the door down as he demanded money, she said.

“He picked up £20, laughed at me, said ’ha ha’, then ran off and went off on his push bike,” she said.

The court heard the pair had been in a relationship for six years but split up following the money row.

Miss Ward said she had previously been a victim of domestic violence at his hands and that he had thrown her out of the house on about 10 previous occasions.

Magistrates convicted Bez of the assault and using unlawful to gain entry into a property.

Following the decision Bez told the bench: “I am appealing this decision to a higher court.

“It’s a kangaroo court, that’s what I think.”

Sentencing takes place on August 25.

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

Ireland's best off-road cycling trails. Volume 2 of our series.



The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up