FORMER N-Dubz singer Dappy has been found guilty of assaulting a man outside a Chelmsford nightclub.

The singer, aged 27, who appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates Court under his real name Dino Costas Contostavlos, had denied attacking George Chittock in the early hours of February 27 outside Chicago’s on Moulsham Street following a meet and greet.

The singer denied the charge of assault by beating, claiming he struck Mr Chittock in self defence.

CCTV footage of the alleged attack, lasting about 10 seconds, was played to the court.

Contostavlos and Mr Chittock 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.

Magistrates said they found Contostavlos was not under any physical threat at the time of the incident.

He held his head in his hands as the verdict was delivered.


Summing up the case, prosecutor Jacqueline Carey had told the court: "It is no defence for anybody, celebrity or otherwise, to say 'I lashed out because he was rude to me'."

In a police statement read to the court, the performer said he had been "cut" in an incident four or five years earlier at a nightclub in Nottingham.

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. I have had to deal all my life with people trying to cut me and taking cheap shots."

Jon Harrison, defending, said that earlier in the evening Mr Chittock told Contostavlos: "Dappy, you're a mug; I'm going to knock you out."

In response to suggestions he had deliberately intimidated Contostavlos, Mr Chittock added: "I was not in his face. I was not in his personal area. He turned around to strike me."

Mitigating today, Mr Harrison said: "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."

The singer was fined £800 by the court, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and costs of £930.