independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Witness at N-Dubz rapper Dappy's trial target of Twitter abuse from fans

A TEENAGE witness who gave evidence in the trial of N-Dubz rapper Dappy has spoken of her upset after being targeted by the musician's fans on Twitter.



Serena Burton gave evidence at Guildford Crown Court stating that the star sparked a fight at a petrol station after she and her friend, Grace Cochran, spurned his advances.



The 25-year-old, charged under his real name of Costadinos Contostavlos, was found guilty of affray and assault by beating and could face a prison sentence of up to three years when he is sentenced next month.



But Dappy was found not guilty of two counts of common assault which related to allegations that he spat at Miss Burton and Miss Cochran, both 19.



Paul Greaney, representing Dappy, argued that the pair were unreliable witnesses because they sent Twitter messages saying they were going to sell their stories to the national newspapers.



The court heard that Miss Burton tweeted: "Ha ha ha, love life, now we are famous", to which Miss Cochran replied: "Buzzing to be papped."



And Miss Burton sent a BBM (BlackBerry) message saying: "We need to sell our stories now, to be fair."



Miss Burton also admitted in court to sending a BBM message, saying that she was going to "bulls**t" when she gave her evidence.



She received a message from someone called Jodie saying: "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."



On ITV's Daybreak programme, Miss Burton said she had been sent several messages by Dappy's fans following the trial.



They included one saying: "Ha ha - hope you and your mate die a horrible death."



Miss Burton said: "We have had some horrific messages sent to us and in some ways it was unfair.



"All we did was witness to help those young boys, it's not a nice thing.



"It's upsetting but me and Grace try to ignore it. It's not a nice thing to go through."



She said the backlash had put her off the idea of being a witness again.



She said: "If I had to I would, but the whole experience has put us off doing it."



Describing the actual incident, she said that at the time she had not realised it was Dappy.



She said: "At the time we had no idea who it was and I think part of that caused the fight to break out.



"The whole experience was something shocking, that someone would do that to another person."



Dappy denied spitting at the two teenagers and said he only spoke to them to promote his single Rockstar featuring Queen guitarist Brian May.



He told the court that his only action was to defend himself after a man, David Jenkins, stepped in to protect the two women.



Mr Jenkins suffered several broken teeth in the incident and two other men suffered facial injuries.



Co-defendant Kieran Vassell, 25, of Hammersmith, west London, was also found guilty of affray and Alfred Miller, 28, of Brentford, west London, pleaded guilty to affray.



All three defendants are to be sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on February 15.



A fourth defendant, Kalonji Stewart, 32, of Harborne, Birmingham, was found not guilty of affray.



Press Association

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