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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Witness sent 'selling story' tweets

Published 10/01/2013 | 13:35

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N-Dubz rapper Dappy denies assault and affray charges

A teenage witness in the trial of N-Dubz rapper Dappy has admitted in court sending tweets about selling her story to the press and that she was "in the process of sending the singer down".

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A trial at Guildford Crown Court has been told that Dappy sparked a "mob attack" when he spat at Grace Cochran and Serena Burton, both 19, as they sat at the Shell garage in Woodbridge Road, Guildford, Surrey, at about 3.30am on February 28 last year.

Paul Greaney, representing Dappy, confronted Miss Cochran about messages she had posted on Twitter and BBM (Blackberry messages). He said that at 7.12pm on Monday she was sent a tweet saying "Send the c*** down" to which she replied "Ha ha ha in the process".

Mr Greaney also described a series of tweets and messages in which the two witnesses discussed their plans to sell their story to the media.

Also, after the pair were photographed outside court on Monday, Miss Burton tweeted: "Ha ha ha, love life, now we are famous" to which Miss Cochran replied: "Buzzing to be papped."

When asked by Mr Greaney if her intention by giving evidence was to gain attention and money, she replied: "We are both 19-year-old girls and the attention was good in our eyes. It wasn't our initial intention. I do not think that, standing here now, I want attention. I think if anyone knows Serena and I, our characters, it's a very typical thing to be said, we like to joke around about things like that."

Miss Burton admitted sending a BBM message saying that she was going to "bulls**t" when she gave her evidence. In the BBM conversation at 9.50am on Tuesday, the day she had originally been due to give evidence, Miss Burton received a message from someone called Jodie: "OMG definitely sell the story ha ha ha, that's so good. Just say what happened, you are good at talking so you will be fine, ha ha ha."

Miss Burton replied: "Ha ha ha, I do not even remember, to be fair, but I will bulls**t."

Miss Burton denied that she regarded her appearance in the case as a means to gain attention or money, or that she intended to sell her story, adding: "We were just joking between each other, there's nothing in there to take seriously."

Dappy denies two counts of common assault, one of assault by beating and one of affray.

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