Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Shakin' Stevens guilty of assault

Former pop star Shakin' Stevens has been fined for striking a press photographer

Former pop star Shakin' Stevens has been fined for striking a press photographer with a microphone at one of his concerts.

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

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

Stevens, of Cardiff, left Ballymena Magistrates' Court on Tuesday without making any comment, but his lawyer said he intends to appeal the conviction.

McNeice said he was glad the case was over, and added that all he had wanted was compensation for the damaged camera.

He had been taking photographs of 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.

Stevens was one of the top selling UK male artists of the 1980s, with hits including Green Door, This Ole House and Merry Christmas Everyone.

At an earlier hearing last month, he denied assaulting McNeice and breaking his camera lens.

He told the court: "I am frustrated really. Why am I sitting here today when you think that one man can cause all this mess costing thousands and thousands of pounds and he just thinks it is a big joke?

"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 is ridiculous. I am saddened by it."

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