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R&B star denied UK entry over assault

The American singer Chris Brown has been denied a visa to enter Britain, days before his tour was due to start.

The R&B star was refused permission on the grounds of being guilty of a serious criminal offence, the Home Office said. The singer was sentenced to six months of community labour for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna last February.

He was due to begin his UK tour in Glasgow this evening. The tour's promoters SJM said the concerts had been "postponed" and that they would be rescheduled.

The singer was also due to perform in Birmingham, Manchester and London tomorrow, Friday, and Sunday respectively, and in Ireland next Tuesday.

The Home Office said: "We reserve the right to refuse entry to the UK to anyone guilty of a serious criminal offence. Public safety is one of our primary concerns. Each application to enter the UK is considered on its individual merits."

Brown was sentenced in August last year to five years' probation and 180 days of community labour. He was also told to attend a domestic violence programme and instructed to stay at least 100 yards from Rihanna for the next five years.

In a statement, SJM said: "Ticket buyers should hold on to their tickets as there will be more news in the forthcoming days of possible rearranged dates."