Saturday 17 August 2019

TV star Ashley Walters denies racially abusing Hilton hotel receptionist

Ashley Walters was summonsed to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court
Ashley Walters was summonsed to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court

Actor and musician Ashley Walters has denied racially abusing a hotel receptionist and threatening her manager.

The 33-year-old, who plays an officer in BBC police drama Cuffs, called a member of staff at the Hilton hotel in Islington, north London, a "white bitch", it is claimed.

Walters, who portrayed a gangster in hit Channel 4 series Top Boy, allegedly also threatened the hotel's deputy manager.

The former member of rap group So Solid Crew was summonsed to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on three charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting language with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress on May 3.

One of the charges related to a racially aggravated offence, the court heard.

Tim Huestis, defending, indicated that the actor denied the charges.

Wearing a beige jumper over an open-collared white shirt and jeans, Walters spoke to confirm the request from the dock.

He is alleged to have approached Zsofia Kuti as she worked on the hotel's front desk before shouting and swearing at her.

It is alleged he shouted "shut the f*** up you white bitch" and also threatened deputy manager Gaurav Thakur.

Walters used his right to have a trial by jury over the racially aggravated allegations.

District Judge Sue Williams released Walters, who lives in Islington, on bail on condition that he does not enter the Hilton or loiter outside it.

He will next appear at Blackfriars Crown Court on December 10.

He declined to comment as he left court.

The father-of-seven shot to fame in the early 2000s as a member of the 14-strong So Solid Crew.

After appearing in Grange Hill as a youngster he returned to acting, taking a role in BBC con artist drama Hustle and parts in The Bill and London's Burning.

In 2004 he was named most promising newcomer at the British Independent Film Awards before appearing in the 50 Cent biopic Get Rich Or Die Tryin' in 2005.

In 2011 he took the lead role in Top Boy, a gritty gang drama set in Hackney, east London, which achieved critical acclaim.

Walters also appeared in an episode of Doctor Who in 2013.

He is currently on screens as Pc Ryan Draper in Cuffs, a police drama set in Brighton.

PA Media

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