Eighties singing star Shakin’ Stevens has begun an appeal against his conviction for assaulting a photographer.
The 63-year-old Buckinghamshire-based artist, real name Michael Barrett, was convicted last year of assaulting snapper and self-confessed Shakey fan Hugo McNeice, and smashing a camera lens.
Barrett was ordered to pay £479 compensation for the broken lens during the Ballymena gig, and fined a total of £300 for assault and criminal damage.
Prosecution lawyer Conor Maguire claimed that Barrett deliberately intended to cause harm, or was reckless that Mr McNeice would be harmed or his equipment damaged when he hit out with the microphone stand.
Mr McNeice explained how in December 2008 he was tasked by his local paper to photograph the Welsh-born singer, but that when he returned to the Tullyglass Hotel the concert was already in full swing.
He said after positioning himself by the side of the stage he “fired off a few frames” to attract Barrett, and the flashing camera appeared to do the trick as he began to move towards him, stand in hand.
“Next thing the microphone stand came down towards the lens. Then it banged the camera and the back of the camera hit my head,” said Mr McNeice.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer David Russell, the snapper accepted that what happened could have been a simple accident.
Mr McNeice said: “Accident or not, it happened.”
Barrett is expected to appear before Ballymena County Court to give his version of what occurred in December 2008.