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Rapper Dappy facing jail over brawl
N-Dubz rapper Dappy is facing a possible jail term when he is sentenced for assault and affray in connection with a fight he started at a petrol station after he was "disrespected" by two teenage women.
A jury at Guildford Crown Court found the 25-year-old singer, whose real name is Costadinos Contostavlos, guilty of the two offences following a nine-day trial last month. The trial heard that he had spat at a man who had stepped in to protect the two 19-year-olds who Dappy had started arguing with after they rejected his advances.
Co-defendant Kieran Vassell, 25, of Hammersmith, west London, was also found guilty of affray and is to be sentenced alongside Dappy, as well as Alfred Miller, 28, of Brentford, west London, who pleaded guilty to affray. A fourth defendant, Kalonji Stewart, 32, of Harborne, Birmingham, was found not guilty of the same offence.
Dappy faces a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment for affray and six months for assault by beating. The court heard that Dappy was convicted in 2008 for assault by beating after he spat at two other women.
The trial was told that Dappy 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, Surrey, the group headed back in three cars to the recording studios in Godalming where Dappy was recording his debut solo album. The group stopped at the Shell garage in Woodbridge Road, Guildford, at about 3.30am of February 28 where the violence erupted.
Brian Stork, prosecuting, claimed that Dappy approached the two teenagers, Grace Cochran and Serena Burton, 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 became angry and called them sluts. He told the court: "They had shown me disrespect, a lot."
However, Dappy denied swearing and spitting at them and was found not guilty of two charges of common assault in relation to the spitting. Mr Stork said that 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 which Dappy was convicted of.
The court heard that Mr Jenkins put Dappy in a headlock leading to several other people joining in the fight, including Vassell and Miller. 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 at Mr Jenkins and said his following actions were simply as self-defence to get out of the headlock. Stewart and Vassell both denied affray and said they acted to protect Dappy.