Monday, December 3, 2012
Singer and reality TV star Dane Bowers has been ordered to carry out unpaid work after admitting a drunken assault in Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road.
The former Another Level singer and former partner of model Katie Price grabbed a man around the neck and “threw him about” during an early-hours confrontation between two groups of men, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Racist abuse was heard during the stand-off, and witnessed accused Bowers, to which he responded: “Don’t accuse me of being a racist – my dad is black.”
Bowers had been in Norwich for a friend’s stag party and had begun drinking at 7pm on June 1, 10 hours before the assault, and told police that he rated himself to be “8 out 10” on a scale of drunkenness.
The 33-year-old, of Coulsdon, Surrey, had been due to stand trial accused of two counts of assault on separate victims and one of harassment – all allegedly racially aggravated.
He pleaded guilty to one count of common assault and one of threatening behaviour, both without any racial element.
Judge Stephen Holt today sentenced Bowers to 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £1,000 in costs.
He told Bowers: “The problems on Prince of Wales Road on Friday and Saturday nights, and weekday nights, are a thorn in the side of this city.
“Young men go out and get drunk – and it’s a constant problem.”
Kevin Molloy, mitigating for Bowers, said the assault had “clearly been fuelled by drink” but that Bowers strenuously denied the allegations of racist abuse given that his father and grandfather are Jamaican.
He added that Bowers had been a long-time supporter of the Sodje Sports Foundation, a charity which works in Africa, and the Kick It Out football anti-racism campaign.
A spokesman for Bowers said after the hearing: “He is upset that it’s taken this long to clear his name and obviously the attached stigma of racism affected him workwise, and [the allegation of racial aggravation] was in any case always a bizarre allegation given that Dane’s father is black and Dane himself is mixed race.”