Dappy (real name Dino Costas Contostavlos) aged 27 was convicted of common assault on 19 June 2014.
On 27 February in the early hours of the morning, Dappy, was making a public appearance at Chicago Rock Cafe in Chelmsford, Essex. He claimed he was abused three times by George Chittock.
The Daily Mail reported:
The prosecutor ‘told the court the pair were in a smoking area along with Contostavlos’s minder and two of the club’s own door staff at about 2am when he was seen to slap Mr Chittock. The incident was caught on CCTV. Witnesses claimed Contostavlos had consumed half of bottle of vodka that night.’
When closing the case before the Magistrates, the prosecutor said:
‘Whether Mr Chittock called this defendant a mug is neither here nor there.
‘You may think what he is really saying is that he was provoked – provocation is no defence.
‘It is no defence for anybody, celebrity or otherwise, to say “I lashed out because he was rude to me”.
‘It is not reasonable to slap somebody when surrounded by bodyguards because somebody says to you “Oi, what?”.’
Dappy claimed he was acting self-defence but was disbelieved by the Magistrates.
The Mail reported:
Asked if he feared he was going to be stabbed on the night of the incident, he added: ‘Yeah of course, I’m always concerned about that.
‘I was scared someone was going to put a hole in me.’
During cross-examination, the performer said he was ‘a million per cent’ sure that it was Mr Chittock who called him a ‘mug’.
‘It was a violation,’ he said. ‘Tesco, Asda, everywhere I go, there’s always one person to make a rude remark. This is a stitch-up. This is what’s happening in this case.’
In an odd twist, ‘comedian’ Jim Davidson claimed he had offered his services as a character witness but that Dappy’s defence team had declined. The pair were in the Celebrity Big Brother house together. But I suppose it is always nice to have friends, eh?
Dappy has previous convictions including affray and assault in February 2012 when he received a 6-month suspended sentence.
On Dappy’s behalf it was said that ‘It was no doubt a regrettable incident but one that was over very quickly and left a person red-faced and very, very angry.
‘He is a polarising figure who is clearly liked by a great many people but he is equally disliked by many others.’
Further, in relation to his financial means, the defence said that Dappy was well paid but his earnings are sporadic and he is currently awaiting a five-figure payment and that his finances were limited by a recent tax settlement.
He was fined £800 with £930 in costs and the mandatory £80 surcharge (representing 10% of the fine up to a maximum of £120)
The Magistrates would have considered the Assault guidelines for common assault (p23).
As we don’t know Dappy’s Relevant Weekly Income (on which the level of fine is calculated) it is hard to say how this offence was categorised. However, we can say that a fine seems to be the most appropriate disposal.
It is likely the court would have increased the fine from the starting point to take account of his previous, and reduced it to take account of the mitigation, such as the limit provocation.
All in all, it sounds like a decent result for Dappy – he can afford the fine and it is unlikely he will be appealing.
Note: When writing this I searched for some N-Dubz song titles to include throughout the post. Unfortunately, I could see no way of including:
- Na Na
- Toot It and Boot It
- Duku Man Skit
- Papa Can You Hear Me
If any readers are more creative than I, please make any suggestions below!