London

Wet Wet Wet star sentenced for punching his girlfriend

  • 14 June 2010
  • From the section London
Neil Mitchell
Image caption The assault was described as out of character

The keyboard player with pop group Wet Wet Wet has been ordered to take part in a domestic violence programme after he admitted assaulting his girlfriend.

Neil Mitchell, 44, from Glasgow, pushed and punched his partner Olivia Warren during a drunken row at her home in Fulham, south-west London, last July.

Kingston Crown Court heard she suffered a black eye and a bruised shoulder in the "shameful" attack.

The court heard the couple still hoped to have a future together.

The pair argued after consuming three bottles of wine, said Jill Evans, representing Mitchell.

"There is significant bruising but a significant amount of that came from falling against the furniture.

"He accepts that he punched a woman in the face and that is something that he is deeply ashamed of."

The 5ft 4in musician, whose band had hits including Love Is All Around, Angel Eyes and Goodnight Girl, sought help from a psychotherapist after the attack.

Miss Warren had trouble sleeping and was prescribed Valium to help, said prosecutor James Edenborough.

'Mild-mannered man'

Mitchell had earlier denied assaulting Miss Warren, causing actual bodily harm, but changed his plea at a hearing last month.

Sentencing, Judge Shani Barnes handed him a two-year community order with the condition he attends a domestic violence programme.

She said: "It is shameful that you should come before the courts at all - let alone for using such violence against your partner.

"I have no doubt that you are a mild-mannered gentle man by nature.

"Domestic violence is never acceptable, even if the young woman gave as good as she got, the injuries she sustained were far more impactful than anything she could have done to you."

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