Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Street star's husband assaulted fan

Vicky Entwistle told the court she had decided to leave Coronation Street after an incident with a fan on a train

The husband of Coronation Street star Vicky Entwistle has been found guilty of assaulting a fan who had asked to take a photo of his wife.

And the actress revealed in court that, after the incident, she had decided to leave the show for "normality and privacy" as the soap was now "such a huge machine" she felt "swallowed by it".

Andrew Chapman, 48, married to the actress who plays Janice Battersby in the ITV1 soap, "lost it" and lashed out in temper punching Michael McWhirter in the face, the court heard.

Mr McWhirter, 23, told Salford Magistrates' Court he had simply borrowed his friend's mobile phone to take a snap and asked: "By any chance please can I have a photo of you because my mum really likes your programme?"

Mr Chapman, who has a black belt in karate, described the punch as a "jab" but he knocked the victim unconscious, the court heard.

The defendant, who was represented by celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, had claimed Mr McWhirter was dressed like a "Goth" and looked "menacing" and had lurched or lunged at Vicky while the couple travelled home on a train from Manchester after visiting a beer festival on April 12 this year.

But District Judge Jonathan Finestein convicted Chapman of common assault.

Vicky, 41, had told the court she shunned the limelight away from the show and the incident on the train was the first time she had used public transport for 13 years because of unwanted attention.

She told the court she felt "intimidated and vulnerable" when Mr McWhirter was "encroaching" on her with the phone.

Chapman was convicted of common assault and fined £1,250, ordered to pay his victim the same amount along with prosecution costs of £1,309 and a £15 victim surcharge.

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