Dappy 'sparked mob attack', court hears08/01/2013 - 13:28:44
N-Dubz rapper Dappy sparked a “mob attack” at a petrol station when he spat at two girls who refused to get into a car with him and two friends, a British court has heard.
Brian Stork, prosecuting, told the jury that Dappy, 25, charged under his real name of Costadinos Contostavlos, pulled up in a car at the Shell garage in Woodbridge Road, Guildford, Surrey at about 3.30am on February 28 last year.
He and a friend Kalonji Stewart got out of the car along with a third man.
While Stewart went inside the shop Dappy began talking to the girls, Grace Cochran and Serena Burton, who were in a group sitting on the kerb outside.
Mr Stork alleged that Dappy tried to persuade the two girls to come with them in their car and when they refused he called the girls sluts, said one was ugly and then spat at them, but missed.
A man who just met the two girls, David Jenkins, stood up to defend them and Dappy is said to have spat at him and it made contact before swinging a punch at him and, the barrister told the court, “it all kicked off”.
In the resulting “mob-handed, utterly unlawful and aggressive attack”, Dappy was joined by two other men, Kieran Vassell and Alfred Miller who had arrived in a second Mercedes car with other unidentified men.
Mr Stork showed the jury CCTV footage, lasting just moments, from the garage. It showed the men attacking Mr Jenkins and his two other friends, resulting in damaged teeth to Mr Jenkins and a fractured nose to another man. They then all got into cars and drove off.
Miller and Vassell are alleged to have used their feet and fists in the attack and Dappy is alleged to have got involved when he was released from a head lock.
Stewart also got involved but less so, the prosecution claims.
Tests on a saliva stain on Mr Jenkins’s t-shirt show a DNA link to Dappy, Mr Stork said.
The singer is standing trial at Guildford Crown Court and denies two counts of common assault on the two women, one of assault by beating, of Mr Jenkins, and one of affray.
He is charged alongside Vassell, 25, of Hammersmith, west London, and Stewart, 32, of Harborne, Birmingham, who are each charged with affray.
Miller, 28, of Brentford, west London, has pleaded guilty to affray and his case was adjourned for sentence at the end of the trial.
Mr Stork said Dappy told police when he was arrested that he was attacked, put in a head lock, his security came to help him and he then got straight into a car.
He denies spitting at anyone and said he cannot understand how his saliva came to be on Mr Jenkins’s shirt.
The other men made prepared statements to officers and then gave “no comment” interviews.
Mr Stork said that Mr Jenkins had just met the two women when he and his friends went to the garage to get some cash and food, and they were chatting together.
“Shortly after 3.30am a car pulled into the garage forecourt. It was a Peugeot, it was driven by Mr Stewart and it contained Mr Contostavlos as well as a third male,” the barrister said.
“Mr Contostavlos walks over to the group of five and he is joined shortly afterwards by the third male and the five young people in that group will explain that, perhaps at the beginning, the conversation with Mr Contostavlos was polite and friendly.”
It then became clear that Dappy wanted the women to get into the car but they said they did not want to, Mr Stork said.
“They were not interested in him and so his attitude changed. Instead of being polite he became rude. He called the girls sluts and said one was ugly. And then perhaps as a result of what was said one of the girls called (Dappy) boring and he reacted by spitting at these two girls.
“To spit at them in this way is unwarranted and uncalled for. Fortunately the spittle landed on the ground near to where (the women) were sitting.
“Mr Jenkins, concerned at what was happening, turned and faced Mr Contostavlos. Mr Contostavlos then spat at Mr Jenkins and the prosecution say it was an unwarranted and unnecessary act.”
It was then that Dappy is alleged to have swung a punch at Mr Jenkins and he put the singer in a head lock.
A second motor vehicle arrived with Miller and Vassell and other men inside and they are alleged to have attacked the three men in what Mr Stork said was a “mob attack that was utterly unlawful and unjustified”.
Dappy’s friends might have been concerned that their friend was in a head lock but the reaction was “completely over the top and mob-handed”, Mr Stork said.
In a police interview Dappy said he went over to the girls and told them his new single with Queen guitarist Brian May called Rock Star was out and that they had been rude.
“Someone put me aggressively into a head lock and then my security turned up to get him off of me and that was it. I was put straight into a car after that.”
He told officers he did not spit at or attack anyone.
Giving evidence, Mr Jenkins told the jury that he did not even know the names of the two girls when Dappy and another man came over and said to the women to get in the car.
“The girls both said no because they didn’t know who they were and the guy became more aggressive and forceful and he was saying ’get in the car, get in the car’.
“I didn’t think it was quite right. They kept saying ’get in the car, get in the car’. And then one of the males said ’I don’t want you in the car. You are ugly, you are buttered,’ and spat at the girls. I didn’t know if it actually hit.
“I was really shocked. I turned around and looked at the second guy. He spat at me and as he did I stood up. It hit my right shoulder and face across my right cheek.
“As he did that I thought he was going to hit me and he swung for me. I went to protect myself and grab him. I felt something hit me.”
He then put the man, who the prosecution allege is Dappy, in a head lock and he told the court that it was the same man who spat at both him and the women, Mr Jenkins told the jury.
It was then that he was attacked, he told the court.
“I noticed other people around and I was being hit in multiple directions by more than two people. I think they arrived in another car,” he said.
“I ended up on the floor with the man in the head lock and I put my right hand above to protect my head from being punched. It felt like I was being hit from everywhere. I believe I lost consciousness at the time.
Holding back tears, Mr Jenkins went on: “As I got back up off the floor I remember one guy coming towards me and he punched me in the face and I lost all my bottom teeth across the jaw. I felt light-headed and dizzy.
“Then they left. They jumped in the cars and drove away, and a few minutes later the police arrived.”
Mr Jenkins received treatment to repair his teeth, the court heard.
Under cross-examination, Mr Jenkins, a keen rugby player, disagreed that he started the violence by putting the man in a head lock and told the jury he has never had a fight in his life.
A taxi driver who witnessed the alleged incident was so scared that he locked the doors of his vehicle, the jury also heard.
Dappy, who performed in N-Dubz alongside his cousin and X Factor judge Tulisa Contostavlos and Richard “Fazer” Rawson, has recently seen success as a solo artist.
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