Former N-Dubz singer Dappy escaped a jail sentence yesterday after carrying out a nightclub attack while serving a suspended sentence for a fight at a petrol station.
The 27-year-old, whose real name is Costadinos Contostavlos, was found guilty in September of punching a man on the dancefloor of the Evissa nightclub in Reading, Berkshire, on 6 October last year.
At the time Dappy was serving a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months for affray and assault at a petrol station in Guildford, Surrey, in February 2012.
However, Judge Neil Stewart decided not to activate the suspended sentence at Guildford Crown Court.
He said: “Justice does not require me to order that you go through that door at the back of the court.
“There will be a non-custodial sentence.” Instead, Dappy was handed a two-month jail term suspended for one year. In his sentencing remarks, Judge Stewart told him “you have plainly a temper”.
He acknowledged the pressure of being a well-known person, but added: “That doesn't justify the sort of reactions that have been characterised by these offences.”
Reading Magistrates' Court heard that the nightclub fight broke out because Contostavlos began chatting to a man's girlfriend and female friend, and the singer punched the man after he told him not to talk to the women.
Contostavlos was also given a 12-month supervision order and a four-month curfew to be at home between 10pm until 5am.
He was told to attend the Thinking Skills Programme, which is a self-control and problem-solving group for offenders.
The singer was also ordered to pay £1,200 prosecution costs, an £800 fine, £800 in compensation to his nightclub victim and a statutory surcharge of £80.
The judge said a report written by Contostavlos's psychotherapist had an impact on his decision.
The court heard that the therapist concluded that the death of the singer's father had had a “profound effect” on him, while he also lacked the “tools and techniques to deal with difficult feelings”.
Contostavlos's barrister, Jon Harrison, said in mitigation: “He accepts that he doesn't help matters when faced with confrontation.
“He is somebody who - it seems the pre-sentence report suggests - needs to have a recalibration of how he deals with hostility or potential conflict.”
He added that, given the possibility of a custodial term, Contostavlos was “effectively staring down the precipice of financial ruin” as he owes “a large amount of money” to the taxman.
Upon leaving the building, Contostavlos told reporters: “I feel amazing. It's a brand new me.”
Additional reporting by Press AssociationReuse content