Judge warns Ms Dynamite about jail term for police assault

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The Independent Online

Pop diva Ms Dynamite was warned she could face jail today after she admitted assaulting a police officer.

The 24-year-old star appeared in the dock at Bow Street Magistrates Court in central London today and pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman officer. She also pleaded guilty to a public order offence.

Ms Dynamite - real name Niomi McLean-Daley - admitted slapping the officer in the face at West End Central Police Station in London after she was arrested following a disturbance outside a nightclub on 6 January this year.

The star admitted a charge under the Police Act of "assaulting Caryn Marles, a constable in the execution of her duty".

She also pleaded guilty to a charge under the Public Order Act of "using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour within the sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress".

Her brother Kingsley Daley, 22, a company director, also appeared in the dock and pleaded not guilty to a charge of obstructing police.

Another woman Carlene Godwin, 24, was with them in the dock and pleaded not guilty to a public order offence.

Prosecutor Audrey Hawkes told the court that police had been called to the Paragon Lounge nightclub in Hanover Street, Mayfair, west London at 5.25am on January 6.

She said: "They came across a large disturbance outside the nightclub. Miss McLean-Daley was part of that disturbance.

"She was told to calm down on repeated occasions but didn't.

"Eventually Pc Marles allowed Mr Daley, her brother, to calm her down but she continued to be abusive and was arrested."

She claimed Mr Daley had tried to prevent police from arresting his sister.

"He held on to both his sister's forearms which meant the officer could not effect the arrest but she was eventually arrested.

"At the police station, she was abusive again and hit the police officer once with an open palm on the side of the face.

"There was no injury."

Anthony Burton, a solicitor representing the star, told the court that the incident happened after she and her sister were racially abused inside the nightclub.

He also said that the nature of the assault had been exaggerated in media reports and all sides accepted that the star had not punched the officer.

Mr Burton said: "An open hand was used and there was one strike and there was no injury.

"This incident arose out of another incident which occurred, we say, within the club prior to Miss Daley's behaviour outside which led to the disorderly conduct charge.

"That evening she and her younger sister, aged 18, had been the subject of racial abuse and, as far as my client is concerned, and this will have to be looked into, her younger sister was assaulted.

"More will be said about that at an appropriate time."

The singer, dressed in a black tailored leather jacket and blue jeans, sat quietly through the hearing and rose to her feet to enter guilty pleas.

She also told the court that her date of birth had been given incorrectly. She was born on 26 April, 1981, she said.

District Judge Caroline Tubbs said: "You have pleaded guilty to a serious matter of assault on a police officer performing her duty and all sentencing options will be open and that does include a custodial sentence."

The case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report until 19 January.

The singer and Miss Godwin had their cases adjourned until 27 January.

All three had their bail extended and the singer left court, as she had arrived, in a black taxi.

Ms Dynamite exploded on to the music scene with her debut album A Little Deeper and won the Mercury Music Prize in 2002 as well as a clutch of Brit Awards and Mobos.

The star, who has a two-year-old son, became an outspoken voice against poverty, drugs, gun crime and the Iraq War and was held up as a role model for young women.

Judgement Day, a comeback single released in October last year reached only number 25 in the chart.