Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Shakin' Stevens guilty of assault

Shakin? Stevens was fined for striking a photographer with a microphone

Shakin' Stevens was fined for striking a press photographer with a microphone at one of his concerts.

The singer, from Cardiff, real name Michael Barrett, was found guilty of assault and criminal damage during the show at the Tullyglass Hotel in Ballymena, Co Antrim.

He was fined £300 and ordered to pay photographer Hugo McNeice £479 to compensate for damage to his camera lens.

Stevens left Ballymena Magistrates Court without commenting, but his lawyer said he intended to appeal.

McNeice said he was glad it was over and all he ever wanted was compensation for the damaged camera.

He'd been photographing the singer during the concert in December 2008 and claimed in court that Stevens, 61, pushed the microphone stand into his camera, leaving him shocked and embarrassed.

At a hearing last month, Stevens denied assaulting McNeice and breaking his camera lens. He said: "He wanted his five minutes of fame and I suggest he came willy nilly to show off to his friends and started clicking. It is frustrating to cause all this, it's ridiculous." He added: "If there was independent witnesses or CCTV cameras I would not be sitting here, with respect."

He was shown photos taken by McNeice in the moments before the alleged assault but said there was no evidence of him actually making contact using his "lightweight" microphone stand.

Stevens said it was improper to gatecrash a show like that. He said the photos were unflattering and admitted waving a finger at the cameraman and said he moved discretely to within feet of him to warn him off. He said he was mid-song so couldn't have a conversation with the photographer and denied being angry or aggressive.

Stevens had hits including Green Door and This Ole House in the 80s.

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