Norfolk

Dane Bowers sentenced for Norwich assault

Dane Bowers
Image caption Dane Bowers admitted two charges without any racial element

Singer Dane Bowers must carry out unpaid work after admitting an assault outside a Norwich nightclub.

Bowers, 33, of south London, led a group of men in a violent confrontation with others, including two black men, the city's crown court heard.

He was due to stand trial on Monday accused of harassment and two assaults - all allegedly racially aggravated.

Bowers admitted one assault and one of threatening behaviour, both without any racial element.

During the attack, Bowers grabbed a man by the neck and "shook him around", the court heard.

'Much drink consumed'

Witnesses said they heard Bowers shouting racist language but when challenged he told them: "Don't accuse me of being racist, my father's black."

Other witnesses said somebody else may have shouted the abuse.

When arrested Bowers told police that he was "8 out of 10 drunk" with 10 being a state of total drunkenness.

Prosecutor John Farmer said the incident happened after 05:00 BST on 2 June in Prince of Wales Road, Norwich's nightclub district.

"The defendant was with a group of friends and much drink had been consumed," he added.

"There was a confrontation and Mr Bowers was then the front runner in a group of young men driving up Prince of Wales Road as another man backed off."

Kevin Molloy, mitigating, said that Bowers was "many degrees away from somebody who could be deemed racist".

'Thorn in side'

Bowers, of Ambercroft Way, Coulsdon, has two previous convictions for drink driving and was cautioned for common assault on New Year's Eve, 2005.

Judge Stephen Holt ordered that he compete 120 hours of unpaid work for the community and pay £1,000 in legal costs.

He told him: "You got thoroughly drunk, putting it politely, and got in all sorts of trouble.

"It seems highly unlikely that you, given your background, would have made racist remarks.

"Putting that to one side, problems on Prince of Wales Road are a constant thorn in the side of this city - young men go out and get drunk and cause a great deal of problems."

The singer, now a DJ, rose to fame with boy band Another Level in the 1990s.

He appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2010.

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