Winehouse struck dancer with 'unjustifiable violence'

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The Independent Online

Amy Winehouse today denied punching a dancer in the face at a charity ball.

But the 25-year-old singer admitted she pushed dancer Sherene Flash away after she drunkenly put her arm round her at the ball in Berkeley Square, London, last September.

Winehouse told the City of Westminster magistrates' court she felt scared and intimidated by Miss Flash and wanted her to leave her alone.

Winehouse said Miss Flash and her friend Kieran Connolly asked to take a photograph, but when she asked them to wait they became persistent.

Winehouse said: "She moved her left arm to lean down to me and tried to pose next to me.

"Her friend came round in front of us and started taking a picture.

"I was like, 'Do I get a choice in this, hello?'

"I pushed her up, like away. I wanted her away from me."

She denied punching Miss Flash and added: "It was more like an indication of 'leave me alone, I'm scared of you'."

Winehouse went on: "I meant to just get her away from me. I was scared.

"I thought, people are mad these days, people are just rude and mad, or people can't handle their drink."

Winehouse, wearing a grey skirt suit with a brown belt over a black T-shirt, sat cross-legged in the witness box as she gave her evidence.

She spoke quickly but appeared both confident and controlled as she described the events leading up to the alleged attack, which the prosecutor described as an act of "deliberate and unjustifiable violence".

She told the court Ms Flash towered over her as she was just "five foot two and a half, or five foot three" but said: "My hair does make a difference."

She added: "At that time I was underweight, I mean, I was underweight."

Winehouse also left the witness box to show District Judge Timothy Workman her flat shoes, which were similar to those she wore to the charity ball.

Mr Workman said he knew what flat shoes were, but Winehouse, lifting her leg up, said: "These are really flat. They don't even have a sole."

Winehouse told the court she had not been due to perform at the ball but was there to support her 13-year-old goddaughter Dion, who was headlining in her first gig.

"It was Dion's night," she said.

"I introduced her. I didn't really want to because it was Dion's night but I did because she is my Dion."

She said she was "so proud of her, so emotional", and added: "I was crying my eyes out."

Winehouse also admitted having drunk champagne, vodka and white wine during the evening.

She said she was "happy" to have her photo taken if people were polite and said she had told Ms Flash and her friend: "Give me two minutes, darling. I'm just going to see my friend out. I'll be right back.

"In that space of time that was the most important thing."

The court heard that Winehouse was referring to her goddaughter's stylist, Melanie, who was preparing to leave the venue.