Dappy declares 'I'm free' despite judge's jail warning

Former N-Dubz singer Dappy declared “I’m free” after sentencing for his nightclub assault was adjourned.

Dappy declares 'I'm free' despite judge's jail warning

Former N-Dubz singer Dappy declared “I’m free” after sentencing for his nightclub attack was adjourned.

District Judge Davinder Lachhar warned him she was “thinking of a custodial sentence” before deciding to send the matter to Crown Court.

Dappy, who was tried under his real name Costadinos Contostavlos, was found guilty last month of punching a man on the dancefloor of Evissa nightclub in Reading.

Ms Lachhar, sitting at Reading Magistrates’ Court today, said: “This is a man who obviously has violent tendencies, to put it mildly.”

Contostavlos’s barrister, Jon Harrison, replied that his client “accepts he has issues surrounding confrontation”.

The judge ruled that sentencing should take place at Guildford Crown Court because Contostavlos committed the assault while serving a six-month suspended sentence – handed down by that court for spitting at a pair of teenagers – which he was now “in breach” of.

She said: “Certainly from my part I would be thinking of a custodial sentence but it’s only right that the same court should sentence you.”

Contostavlos, wearing a white shirt, black jumper and black trousers with matching Louis Vuitton belt and shoes, removed a black baseball cap before entering the courtroom.

He sat in the dock and held his hands out in prayer as the judge gave her decision.

After being granted unconditional bail, the 27-year-old said “thank you madam” before looking up at the ceiling and breathing out an audible sigh of relief.

He had entered the courtroom with a large black holdall.

As he left the court building, the troubled star posed for a photograph with a young boy before telling reporters: “How do I feel? I’m free.”

The trial heard that the fight broke out in the early hours of October 6 last year because Contostavlos, from Hatfield in Hertfordshire, began chatting to Devonn Reid’s female friend and girlfriend at the club’s bar, and that the singer punched him after Mr Reid told him not to talk to them.

During the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Zainab Mohamed read out a victim impact statement from Mr Reid, who was celebrating his 21st birthday at the time of the attack.

He wrote: “Since the assault happened I haven’t been going out as much.”

He revealed he had received messages from people threatening to “sort me out” and described how the court case had “brought everything back up for me”.

Mr Reid also wrote that his shirt and jumper – costing a total of around £110 - were “ruined” because there was blood on them after he was punched.

Contostavlos was given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months for affray and assault last year.

The trial heard he sparked a “mob-handed attack” when he spat at Grace Cochran and Serena Burton, who were both 19, at a petrol station in Guildford, Surrey in February 2012.

He was also fined £800 in June this year for lashing out and slapping a man at a nightclub in Chelmsford, Essex, in February.

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