Winehouse's husband gets 27 months for 'vicious' attack assault

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The Independent Online

Amy Winehouse's husband has been jailed for beating up a pub landlord and trying to sabotage the subsequent trial.

Blake Fielder-Civil, 26, was sentenced yesterday to 27 months after admitting grievous bodily harm and perverting justice in a £200,000 scheme aimed at saving him from prison. He has been behind bars on remand since November, so could be released in just four and a half months.

High on alcohol and cocaine, Fielder-Civil joined his friend Michael Brown in beating James King, 36, so badly in June 2006 that he needed plates fitted into his face for a broken cheekbone.

Judge David Radford, sitting at Snaresbrook Crown Court, east London, told Fielder-Civil he had behaved in a "gratuitous, cowardly and disgraceful" way. The attack on Mr King was "vicious and one-sided", he said.

Fielder-Civil looked calm throughout the hearing, showing no emotion as his sentence was passed. But as he was taken down to the cells by court staff at the end of the hearing he looked up and smiled at friends and family in the public gallery, and mouthed "see you soon". His wife was not at court.

After his arrest he tried to bribe Mr King with £200,000 to disappear during the assault trial. But the plan backfired when Anthony Kelly and James Kennedy – the middlemen hired to broker the deal – went to the Daily Mirror and attempted to sell CCTV images of the attack. They met a reporter, who secretly filmed them discussing the plan. The paper notified the police and Fielder-Civil was arrested in November and charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

In court yesterday, his barrister, Jeremy Dein QC, urged the judge to suspend his sentence or sentence him to the nine months he had already served. He said Fielder-Civil "was of exemplary good character". But he was interrupted by the judge, who said: "No previous convictions rather than exemplary good character, if what I read about him and the use of drugs is true."

Mr Dein said part of the blame for Fielder-Civil's actions lay in his addiction to drugs and that he, along with his wife, was trying desperately to kick his habit: "He knows that if he fails, an appointment with calamity awaits, not just for him but for his wife as well."

The judge rejected a submission for Fielder-Civil to be sent for treatment at a private drug rehabilitation centre.

Brown, 40, of Carshalton, south London, was sentenced to 33 months in prison; Kelly, 25, of Chalk Farm, north London, was given 20 months; Kennedy, 20, of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was given 40 weeks at a young offenders' institute, suspended for 12 months.