Dappy found guilty: Former N-Dubz singer fined £800 for nightclub assault

Dappy had told Chelmsford Magistrates' Court that he acted in 'self defence'

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The Independent Online

Former N-Dubz singer Dappy has been found guilty of assaulting a man in an Essex nighclub.

The 27-year-old, whose real name is Dino Costas Contostavlos, had denied attacking George Chittock in the early hours of 27 February during a public appearance at Chicago's nightclub in Chelmsford.

But he was convicted by magistrates at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court and fined £800.

As well as the fine, he was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and costs of £930.

Giving evidence, the performer had claimed he was "scared" he might be stabbed and lashed out in self-defence after Mr Chittock had abused him three times over the course of the night, including insulting his dead father.

However, prosecutor Jacqueline Carey had said CCTV footage showed Contostavlos "surrounded by security" when he turned and "slapped" Mr Chittock near the club's smoking area at about 2am.

"When the defendant lashed out, he was not under any threat or any perceived threat of violence," Ms Carey said.

Chair of the bench Angela Tucker said the magistrates had found Contostavlos was not under any physical threat at the time of the incident.

He held is head in his hands as the verdict was delivered.

Summing up the case, Ms Carey had told the court: "It is no defence for anybody, celebrity or otherwise, to say 'I lashed out because he was rude to me'."

The court was read details of Contostavlos's criminal record, including a six-month suspended sentence for affray and assault in February 2012.

A trial last year heard how he sparked a “mob-handed attack” when he spat at Grace Cochran and Serena Burton, who were both 19, at a filling station in Guildford.

Mitigating today, Mr Harrison said: “It was no doubt a regrettable incident but one that was over very quickly and left a person red faced and very, very angry.

“He is a polarising figure who is clearly liked by a great many people but he is equally disliked by many others.”

Referring to his client's ability to pay a fine or compensation, he said his client is well paid but his earnings are sporadic and he is currently awaiting a five-figure payment.

But he added that Contostavlos's finances were limited by a recent tax settlement.

The former N-Dubz star finished in second place to Davidson on reality show Celebrity Big Brother a month before the alleged incident.

Additional reporting by Press Association