Man accused of attacking Leona Lewis is sectioned

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The Independent Online

A man accused of assaulting pop star Leona Lewis is not fit to attend court, a judge was told today.

Peter Kowalczyk, 29, was charged with striking the Bleeding Love singer during a book signing.

A hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court today heard he has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and is being examined by psychiatrists.

After a short hearing of legal argument, District Judge Daphne Wickham adjourned the case until 23 November at the same court.

Kowalczyk did not appear in the dock and remains in secure accommodation at Lambeth Hospital in south London.

Kowalczyk's solicitor, Mark Fidler, said the results of the psychiatric tests would dictate what approach is taken to the case.

The court heard Kowalczyk is on unconditional bail but is unable to leave hospital because of an order under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act.

Kowalczyk, of Waterloo, south London, was arrested at Waterstone's book shop in Piccadilly on 14 October.

Witnesses said Lewis was struck by a fan as she signed copies of her autobiography.

The 24-year-old had been signing autographs for about 90 minutes when a man lashed out, leaving her with bruising to the side of her head.

Security officers stepped in and held the man on the floor until police officers arrived and arrested him.

Lewis was taken to see a doctor as a precaution, but needed no further treatment.

The star cancelled a day-long promotional visit to Germany the next day as she recovered from the ordeal.

She later thanked fans for their support and said the incident left her "extremely hurt and upset".

Rehearsals for her first major UK show are due to begin next week. She is due to play the Hackney Empire next month.