Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Dappy witness tells of fan abuse

N-Dubz rapper Dappy was found guilty of affray and assault

A teenage witness who gave evidence in the trial of N-Dubz rapper Dappy has spoken of her upset after being targeted by the musician's fans on Twitter.

Serena Burton gave evidence at Guildford Crown Court stating that the star sparked a fight at a petrol station after she and her friend, Grace Cochran, spurned his advances.

The 25-year-old, charged under his real name of Costadinos Contostavlos, was found guilty of affray and assault by beating and could face a prison sentence of up to three years when he is sentenced next month.

But Dappy was found not guilty of two counts of common assault which related to allegations that he spat at Miss Burton and Miss Cochran, both 19.

Paul Greaney, representing Dappy, argued that the pair were unreliable witnesses because they sent Twitter messages saying they were going to sell their stories to the national newspapers. The court heard that Miss Burton tweeted: "Ha ha ha, love life, now we are famous", to which Miss Cochran replied: "Buzzing to be papped."

And Miss Burton sent a BBM (BlackBerry) message saying: "We need to sell our stories now, to be fair."

On ITV's Daybreak programme, Miss Burton said she had been sent several messages by Dappy's fans following the trial. They included one saying: "Ha ha - hope you and your mate die a horrible death."

Miss Burton said: "We have had some horrific messages sent to us and in some ways it was unfair. All we did was witness to help those young boys, it's not a nice thing ... It's upsetting but me and Grace try to ignore it. It's not a nice thing to go through."

Meanwhile, Dappy has taken to Twitter to ask his fans to stop sending messages to the two witnesses.

He wrote: "Guys, the girls have had their 15 minutes. Nuthin to be gained by sending hate to them. Just ignore and let's move on...#Daybreak".

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Scorpio:

You prefer to work out problems in secret, with no interference from friends and family. It's not that you don't respect other people's opinions. You simply know intuition is your best guide. In the past, you followed conventional wisdom, only to regret your choice. Don't make this mistake now, when there is an important career matter before you. Accepting a glamorous job is tempting, but you'd prefer a position that is more edgy and demanding. An unpredictable job is calling your name; grab it.More