Dappy gets suspended six-month sentence for petrol-station brawl

N-Dubz rapper Dappy has been given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months for assault and affray at Guildford Crown Court today for a brawl he sparked at a petrol station.

Dappy gets suspended six-month sentence for petrol-station brawl

N-Dubz rapper Dappy broke down in tears today as he avoided a jail term when he was sentenced for assault and affray.

The singer was given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months at Guildford Crown Court and ordered to carry out 150 hours community service.

He was also ordered to pay £4,500 (€5,214) compensation and £2,000 (€2,317) in costs.

The 25-year-old had faced a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment after being convicted in connection with a brawl at a petrol station in Guildford, Surrey.

The trial held last month heard that the pop star became angry and violent after two teenage women "disrespected" him by refusing to get into his car to go to a party at his recording studios, sparking the fight which led to three men being seriously injured.

His co-defendants, Kieran Vassell - the brother of Dappy's partner Kaye Vassell - and songwriter Alfred Miller, were both jailed for their part in the affray.

Praying as the verdict was announced, Dappy, wearing a white shirt and black tie, broke down in tears and shouted "Yes!" as Judge Neil Stewart announced that his prison term would be suspended.

Judge Stewart told Dappy, charged under his real name of Costadinos Contostavlos, that although the offences he committed were serious enough to attract a custodial sentence, he would suspend it because of his remorse.

He said: "The report I have on you suggests you do not present overtly criminal attitudes and this offence has been a wake-up call for you."

Judge Stewart continued that Dappy, who was put in a headlock during the fight, had been justified in resisting this.

But he said that the jury had found Dappy had then swung one or two punches once he had been released, meaning that he had participated in the affray.

He added: "Your culpability in the affray was considerably less than that of your co-defendants."

The judge added: "The sentence I have decided on is not affected by any consideration of whether a person is well-known to the public."

But he did acknowledge the singer's success by saying: "You are 25, you have applied your talent, worked hard and achieved considerable success in the music industry and your career continues to show promise."

The court was told that Dappy had previous convictions for assault and possessing a bladed weapon.

In November 2005, he was sentenced to a community order for possessing a bladed weapon in a public place.

In September 2007, he was given 40 hours of community service for battery when he pushed a taxi driver following an argument in Camden, north London.

In December 2008, he was given a four-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay compensation for two battery offences which related to him spitting at two women.

Paul Greaney, defending Dappy, said a prison term would have brought an end to his career as a singer.

He said: "It is inevitable now that he will not be able to visit or work in America.

"Furthermore, as a result of the convictions, certain important radio stations will not play his records.

"His earning capacity now is extremely limited."

He continued: "These proceedings have had a quite massive impact on Mr Contostavlos and the court would be entitled to conclude that he has learnt a very important lesson indeed and he has shown real insight into the impact on his victims of his behaviour that night."

Outside court, Dappy stopped to share a hug with tearful fans before he was driven away in a black BMW car with blackened windows.

Detective Constable Alex Boxall, of Surrey Police, said after the hearing: "I hope the sentencing of Mr Contostavlos demonstrates that he will be making amends in public for his actions.

"He is a popular rapper who commands a large following and as a high profile musician in the public eye, it is important that the public see that there are consequences for committing such acts of unprovoked violence."

The trial was told that Dappy was out on February 27 last year celebrating the release of his single Rockstar featuring Queen guitarist Brian May.

After spending the night in the VIP area of the Casino nightclub in Guildford drinking sambuca shots and Jack Daniels, the group headed back in three cars to the recording studios in Godalming, where Dappy was recording his debut solo album.

The group stopped at the Shell garage in Woodbridge Road, Guildford, at about 3.30am on February 28 where the violence erupted.

Brian Stork, prosecuting, said Dappy approached the two 19-year-olds, Grace Cochran and Serena Burton, sitting on the kerb outside the station shop and tried to persuade them to get into the car with him.

When they refused these advances and began to ridicule him by calling him "boring", Dappy became angry and called them "sluts".

He told the court: "They had shown me disrespect, a lot."

Dappy denied swearing and spitting at them and was found not guilty of two charges of common assault in relation to the spitting.

Mr Stork said a man called David Jenkins, who had been talking to the two women, stepped in to protect them but was spat at by Dappy.

This spitting, which hit Mr Jenkins, mades up the charge of assault by beating which Dappy was convicted of.

Mr Jenkins put Dappy in a headlock, leading to several other people joining in the fight, including co-defendants Vassell and Miller.

Mr Jenkins suffered nine broken teeth in the fight while another man, Oliver Billson, suffered a swollen eye and Christopher Gibson's nose was broken.

The court heard that all three victims had suffered long-lasting emotional effects and loss of confidence as a result of the attack.

Vassell denied affray and said he only acted to protect Dappy.

But the 25-year-old, of Hammersmith, west London, was found guilty of affray and was jailed for 14 months, ordered to pay £1,500 (€1,738) compensation and £500 (€579) costs.

The court heard that Vassell had several previous convictions for supplying class A drugs and was also jailed for nine months in 2010 for theft of a car and dangerous driving.

Miller, 28, of Brentford, west London, pleaded guilty to affray and was sentenced to 19 months imprisonment and ordered to pay £4,500 (€5,214) compensation and £1,000 (€1,159) costs.

The court heard he had previous convictions for possessing an offensive weapon and burglary and in September last year, he was fined for an offence of racially aggravated harassment when he swore at and insulted a petrol station attendant in Godalming on February 10, 2012, which happened 18 days before the offence involving Dappy.

A fourth defendant, Kalonji Stewart, 32, of Harborne, Birmingham, was found not guilty at the trial of affray

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