Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Dappy loses conviction appeal bid

Dappy was given a six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, for assault and affray

N-Dubz rapper Dappy, who was found guilty of assault and affray, has lost a challenge against his conviction.

The 25-year-old singer was not at the Court of Appeal in London to hear three judges headed by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge reject his case.

At Guildford Crown Court in February, the pop star, whose real name is Costadinos Contostavlos, was given a six-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, in connection with a brawl at a petrol station. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service.

His co-defendants, Kieran Vassell - the brother of Dappy's partner Kaye Vassell - and songwriter Alfred Miller both lost appeals against their sentences. Vassell, 25, of Hammersmith, west London, who denied affray and said he only acted to protect Dappy, was found guilty and jailed for 14 months.

Miller, 28, of Brentford, west London, pleaded guilty to affray and was sentenced to 19 months.

Mr Justice Royce said neither sentence was manifestly excessive in what was a serious affray.

The trial heard that the brawl started after Dappy spat at a man who stepped in to protect two women with whom the singer had started arguing.

At the appeal, his lawyers argued that the trial judge should not have admitted evidence of a 2008 assault conviction which involved spitting, and was wrong not to discharge the jury after a newspaper published an article accompanied by a photo of the singer spitting. They alleged this created a real risk of serious prejudice.

Mr Justice Royce said that the judge was fully entitled to admit the 2008 conviction and to conclude that it would not be right to discharge the jury. "The photo in this case does not show him spitting at anyone. It shows him simply spitting."

He added that the judge weighed up matters with care and indicated he would remind the jury that they must decide the case on the evidence they heard in court, which he did. In his judgment, the jury was not deflected from a proper and fair analysis of the evidence.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-courts-and-tribunals-service(HM Courts and Tribunals service)

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