Dappy avoids jail for nightclub attack

The N-Dubz singer was handed a two-month jail term suspended for one year

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The Independent Online

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 Association

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