Wet Wet Wet star ordered to attend domestic abuse programme
The keyboard player from Scottish pop group Wet Wet Wet was today ordered to take part in a domestic violence programme after he admitted assaulting his girlfriend.
Kingston Crown Court heard that Neil Mitchell, 45, pushed and punched his partner during a drunken row at her home in Fulham, south west London, last July.
The court heard that Olivia Warren suffered a black eye and a bruised shoulder blade as a result of the attack.
The couple argued after they consumed three bottles of wine, said Jill Evans, mitigating.
She said Mitchell's behaviour was "out of character".
"He is a small man physically and he has always been seen as a gentle man," said Ms Evans.
"On this afternoon they had shared three bottles of wine. There was a disagreement, and as is characteristic of the defendant, he left to avoid it escalating.
"He realised he had left some items at the flat and went back to get them and because Miss Warren did not immediately give them to him there was an argument and that led to pushing and shoving.
"There is significant bruising but a significant amount of that came from falling against the furniture.
"He accepts that he punched a woman in the face and that is something that he is deeply ashamed of."
The 5ft 4in musician, who hit the charts with songs including Love Is All Around, Angel Eyes and Goodnight Girl, sought help from a psychotherapist after the incident.
Miss Warren had trouble sleeping and was prescribed Valium to help, said prosecutor James Edenborough.
Mitchell, of Cleveden Road, Glasgow, had earlier denied assaulting Miss Warren - causing actual bodily harm - but changed his plea.
The court in Surrey heard that the pair still hope to have a future together despite the attack.
Sentencing, Judge Shani Barnes handed him a two-year community order with the condition that he attends a domestic violence programme.
She said: "It is shameful that you should come before the courts at all - let alone for using such violence against your partner.
"I have no doubt that you are a mild-mannered gentle man by nature.
"Domestic violence is never acceptable, even if the young woman gave as good as she got, the injuries she sustained were far more impactful than anything she could have done to you."
Mitchell, who was wearing a dark suit, declined to comment as he left the court.
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats