Russell Brand fined for damaging mobile phone

Russell Brand Russell Brand must carry out his community service before the end of August, but not necessarily in New Orleans

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Comedian and actor Russell Brand has been fined $500 (£322) and ordered to do 20 hours of community service for damaging a photographer's mobile phone.

It relates to an incident in March when the photographer tried to take Brand's picture in New Orleans.

Brand's lawyer, Robert Glass, pleaded not guilty on his behalf at a hearing at Orleans Parish Municipal Court on Thursday morning.

The fine and community service must be completed before the end of August.

A court spokesman told the BBC that the community service must be carried out at a "suitable public entity" - which does not have to be in New Orleans.

The comedian was accused of taking the phone and throwing it through the window of a nearby law firm.

Writing on Twitter at the time of the incident, Brand said he took the phone as "a tribute" to Apple boss Steve Jobs, who died last year.

He tweeted: "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iPhone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory."

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