Doherty fined £750 for attack on reporter

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The Independent Online

Rock star Pete Doherty was today fined £750 after he admitted lashing out a female reporter outside a court.

The Babyshambles frontman had previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault by beating after he kicked out at Radio 1 Newsbeat's Trudi Barber.

Defence lawyer Sean Curran today said Doherty changed his plea on the day the trial was due to start after watching television footage of the attack which happened outside Thames Magistrates Court on March 23 following an appearance on another charge.

At the same court today, Justice of the Peace Helen Skinner fined Doherty £750 and ordered him to pay £250 compensation to Ms Barber and court costs of £200.

Sirah Abraham, for the Crown, said Doherty kicked out and made contact with Ms Barber's hand, knocking a microphone she was holding.

She said Ms Barber suffered pain to her hand which spread to her shoulder. A doctor prescribed her painkillers but she lost sleep from the pain.

Doherty refused to respond to police questions during an interview but did apologise for the incident although he described Ms Barber as a member of the "harassing scum of press".

Mr Curran said Doherty apologised if he had hurt Ms Barber, and pleaded guilty on the basis of recklessness.

He said: "He certainly had no malice towards the victim. What he did was reckless and very unfortunately she received injuries."

He added that Doherty had as recently as last week provided negative results in tests for both cocaine and opiates.

Sentencing Doherty Mrs Skinner said: "People in public life have a responsibility to behave and be a good role model to others.

"Referring to the press as scum does no one any favours.

"You were obviously courting publicity judging by your somewhat extravagant behaviour outside the court."

Doherty, dressed in a black coat and carrying a black trilby hat, told the court he could not pay the fine today, saying he did not have a credit card and had just 27p on him.

Mrs Skinner ordered that he make the whole payment within seven days.