Monday 19 February 2018

Shakin' Stevens in bid to clear criminal record

Shakin' Stevens arriving for his appeal hearing
Shakin' Stevens arriving for his appeal hearing

Michael Donnelly

EIGHTIES star Shakin' Stevens has launched an appeal against a conviction for assaulting a press photographer during a concert in Northern Ireland.

The UK-based singer, whose real name is Michael Barrett, was convicted in January last year of assaulting Hugo McNeice and smashing a camera lens.

Stevens (63) was ordered to pay €548 compensation for breaking the lens during a concert at the Ballymena Tullyglass Hotel, Co Antrim.

He was also fined €343 for assault and criminal damage.

Yesterday, prosecutor Conor Maguire told Ballymena County Court that Stevens deliberately intended to cause harm or was reckless that Mr McNeice would be harmed or his equipment damaged when he hit out with the microphone stand.

Mr McNeice explained how he stood at the side of the stage and "fired off a few frames" to attract the singer.

"He was singing away, performing and I thought I would get a few nice photographs," Mr McNeice said.

"Next thing the microphone stand came down towards the lens. Then it banged the camera and the back of the camera hit my head. I stopped photographing. It was quite embarrassing and I put the camera down and looked up at him and walked out into the foyer."

He later accepted that what happened could have been a simple accident. "Accident or not, it happened," he said.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent

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