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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most