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Happy Mondays' Bez fined for order breach

Former Happy Mondays star Bez has been fined £140 after he admitted breaching a restraining order preventing him contacting his ex-girlfriend.

Bez - real name Mark Berry - pleaded guilty to sending 22 text messages to Monica Ward who he was convicted of assaulting in August.

A two-year restraining order was imposed by magistrates earlier this year when he was jailed for four weeks for the offence.

He was not allowed to contact Miss Ward directly or indirectly and had to use his elder sons as go-betweens to arrange contact with their two-year-old son.

Manchester Magistrates' Court heard Bez broke the terms of the agreement when he texted her about the arrangements when he could not get through to his sons.

Bez, 46, who found fame with his freaky dancing in the Happy Mondays in the late 1980s, spent a day in the cells yesterday at HMP Wandsworth after he was caught trespassing on a railway at Euston Station in London.

Greater Manchester Police had earlier issued a wanted appeal for Bez after he failed to attend a bail appointment in relation to the restraining order.

The court was told he travelled to the capital for a DJ appearance in London and had forgotten about his bail date.

He was also ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge fee.

Sean Brady, prosecuting, said Bez sent the messages between September and October this year from his mobile phone.

He said: "Miss Ward says she did not invite the messages and ignored them all except for one saying to stop contacting her.

"If there were issues with the child she was not the person to contact to sort that out.

"There was no suggestion of any threats being made. It was all about the child.

"He knows he should have being doing this through his eldest children.

"The complainant says the messages have brought her to the edge of tears."

Peter Casson, defending, said: "He does accept that he was made aware of the conditions of the order.

"There is not one message here to Monica Ward that was malicious, abusive or threatening. His only concern was the contact with his two-year-old boy.

"He is just a father who is very concerned to have contact with his child.

"When arrested in London he said he was very upset about everything going on. He is still upset about being convicted, it is a thorn in his side.

"He was offered a job in London and the matter completely slipped his mind."

Bez, who is now living in Chorlton, Manchester, told the court that he had lost DJing work because of his conviction.

He said: "I was supposed to be working tonight in Bolton.

"I have lost a lot of work because of being accused of being a wifebeater."

He said that after deducting expenses he was currently earning £750 per month on average.

He was told the terms of the restraining order remained and that he would have to return to court to apply for an amendment if he thought the present arrangements were not practical - otherwise he would be arrested again if there was a further breach.