Rapper Dappy found guilty after brawl at petrol station
Published 17/01/2013 | 12:54
N-DUBZ rapper Dappy has been found guilty of affray in connection with a brawl at a petrol station.
The 25-year-old was also convicted by a jury at Guildford Crown Court in Surrey, England of a charge of assault by beating which involved him spitting at a man.
The singer was cleared of two charges of common assault in which he was accused of spitting at, but missing, two 19-year-old women.
The week-long trial heard that Dappy, charged under his real name of Costadinos Contostavlos, had been out on February 27 last year celebrating the release of his single Rockstar featuring Queen guitarist Brian May.
After spending the night in the VIP area of the Casino nightclub in Guildford, the group were travelling back in three cars to the recording studios in Godalming where Dappy was recording his debut solo album when they stopped at the Shell garage in Woodbridge Road, Guildford, at about 3.30am on February 28.
Brian Stork, prosecuting, claimed that Dappy approached Grace Cochran and Serena Burton, both 19, who were sitting on the kerb outside the station shop and tried to persuade them to get into the car with him to continue the party at the studios.
The court was told that when they refused these advances and began to ridicule him, Dappy allegedly became angry and called them sluts.
He was then accused of spitting at them but missing - the two counts of common assault faced by the singer.
Mr Stork said a man called David Jenkins who had been talking to the two women then stepped in to protect them but was spat at by Dappy.
This spitting, which hit Mr Jenkins, makes up the charge of assault by beating.
The trial was told that saliva was found on Mr Jenkins' T-shirt which had a DNA link to Dappy with one-in-a-billion probability that it came from someone unrelated to him.
The court heard that Mr Jenkins put the rapper in a headlock, leading to several other people joining in the fight including the two other defendants, Kieran Vassell, 25, of Hammersmith, west London, and Kalonji Stewart, 32, of Harborne, Birmingham, who were both charged with affray.
A fourth man, Alfred Miller, 28, of Brentford, west London, has pleaded guilty to affray and his case was adjourned for sentence at the end of the trial.
The trial heard that Mr Jenkins suffered several broken teeth in the fight while another man, Oliver Billson, suffered a swollen eye and Christopher Gibson suffered a broken nose.
Dappy denied attempting to pick up the two women and told the court that he only spoke to them to promote his single.
He denied spitting at them and Mr Jenkins and said his following actions were simply self-defence to get out of the headlock.
Stewart and Vassell both denied affray and said they acted to protect Dappy.
The defence said Miss Cochran and Miss Burton were "unreliable witnesses" as they had sent Twitter and Blackberry (BBM) messages stating how they intended to sell their stories to the national newspapers.
Miss Burton also sent a message stating that she could not remember what had happened and that she would "bullshit" when she gave evidence.
Dappy, dressed in a black V-neck sweater, sighed and shook his head when the verdicts were announced.
The jury, made up of eight men and four women, took eight hours to reach its verdicts.
It also found Vassell guilty of affray.
But it is continuing its deliberations regarding Stewart.
The jury also found Stewart not guilty of affray.
Judge Neil Stewart adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports to be prepared on Dappy and Vassell.
Sentencing was set to be carried out on February 15 and the pair were released on unconditional bail until then.
Speaking to the jury, Judge Stewart said: "Thank you for the care and attention you gave to that trial."