Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Dappy's tears as he avoids jail

Dappy, real name Costadinos Contostavlos, was convicted of assault and affray last month

N-Dubz rapper Dappy broke down in tears as he avoided a jail term when he was sentenced for assault and affray.

The singer was given a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months at Guildford Crown Court and ordered to carry out 150 hours community service. He was also ordered to pay £4,500 compensation and £2,000 in costs.

The 25-year-old had faced a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment after being convicted in connection with a brawl at a petrol station in Guildford, Surrey.

The trial held last month heard that the pop star became angry and violent after two teenage women "disrespected" him by refusing to get into his car to go to a party at his recording studios, sparking the fight which led to three men being seriously injured.

His co-defendants, Kieran Vassell - the brother of Dappy's partner Kaye Vassell - and songwriter Alfred Miller, were both jailed for their part in the affray.

Praying as the verdict was announced, Dappy, wearing a white shirt and black tie, broke down in tears and shouted "Yes" as Judge Neil Stewart announced that his prison term would be suspended.

Judge Stewart told Dappy, charged under his real name of Costadinos Contostavlos, that although the offences he committed were serious enough to attract a custodial sentence, he would suspend it because of his remorse. He said: "The report I have on you suggests you do not present overtly criminal attitudes and this offence has been a wake-up call for you."

Paul Greaney, defending Dappy, said a prison term would have brought an end to his career as a singer. He said: "It is inevitable now that he will not be able to visit or work in America. Furthermore, as a result of the convictions, certain important radio stations will not play his records. His earning capacity now is extremely limited."

Outside court, Dappy stopped to share a hug with tearful fans before he was driven away in a black BMW car with blackened windows.

Detective Constable Alex Boxall, of Surrey Police, said after the hearing: "I hope the sentencing of Mr Contostavlos demonstrates that he will be making amends in public for his actions. He is a popular rapper who commands a large following and as a high profile musician in the public eye, it is important that the public see that there are consequences for committing such acts of unprovoked violence."

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