Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Tulisa Contostavlos 'outraged' at guilty verdict over assault on showbiz blogger Savvas Morgan at V Festival

Tulisa Contostavlos arrives at Stratford Magistrates' Court in London
Tulisa Contostavlos arrives at Stratford Magistrates' Court in London

Former X-Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos has said she is "outraged" at her conviction for assaulting a celebrity blogger Savvas Morgan during an altercation at V Festival in Essex.

The N-Dubz star hit Savvas Morgan during an altercation at V Festival in Essex.

She was found guilty by a judge at Stratford Magistrates' Court today.

In a defiant statement after today's guilty verdict, she said: "This has been a rollercoaster week for me. I never wanted any of this.

"I did not assault Vas J Morgan and I am outraged at this decision. I will be appealing it.

"There are a number of high-profile witnesses who were there and know what happened. I urge them to come forward and tell the truth at the appeal.

"I am determined to clear my name as I have already done once this week.

"I repeat - I did not assault Vas J Morgan. I am innocent."

District Judge Angus Hamilton said: "I am quite sure to the requisite standard of proof, based on my analysis of the evidence that I have heard, that Ms Contostavlos did strike Mr Morgan in the face during an argument and that that blow caused minor bruising and swelling."

The judge said Contostavlos acted in a "confrontational" manner when she turned towards her victim.

"Her decision to seek to deal with Mr Morgan herself strikes me as aggressive and confrontational," he said.

He went on to say that he had a "number of points of concern" about her evidence during the trial.

He found that she "changed her account" of what she did with her hands during the confrontation. At one point she claimed she raised them in a defensive gesture but later said they remained by her sides, he said.

Sarah Asbrey, senior district crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in the east of England, said: "It was clear from the evidence that Ms Contostavlos held a grudge against Mr Morgan for previous comments he had made about her on his blog including a link to her sex tape.

"When she saw him at the festival there was an argument between them, which resulted in her assaulting Morgan.

"The outcome of this case shows that no-one is above the law and each case will be dealt with on its own merits."

Contostavlos'' assistant, Gareth Varey, was cleared of using threatening behaviour during the incident in August last year.

After being convicted of the assault, Contostavlos was ordered to pay a total of £3,020.

This consisted of a £2,700 contribution towards the cost of the prosecution, a £200 fine, £100 compensation to Mr Morgan and a £20 victim surcharge.

Earlier this week, a trial against Contostavlos collapsed at Southwark Crown Court after the judge said there were "strong grounds" to believe that undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood - known as the fake sheikh - had lied on the witness stand.

Contostavlos, who wore a blue suit, white shirt and nude stilettos, shook her head and smiled in disbelief as today's guilty verdict was read out.

She appeared to mutter "this is bulls***" as she walked out of the courtroom.

 

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