Dizzee Rascal: Grime artist sentenced for assaulting former fiancee

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Dizzee Rascal arriving for the sentencing hearing.Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The rapper, whose real name is Dylan Kwabena Mills, had denied assault by beating

Grime artist Dizzee Rascal has been handed a one-year restraining order and a 24-week curfew for assaulting his former fiancee.

The rapper, whose real name is Dylan Kwabena Mills, had denied assault by beating.

But the 37-year-old, of Sevenoaks, Kent, was found guilty of attacking Cassandra Jones in Streatham, south London, in June 2021.

The couple had two children before they split up in February 2021.

Electronic tag

In last month's trial at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court, the judge said he had been "abusive and aggressive".

The court heard the artist behind chart-topping singles Bonkers and Dance Wiv Me, was "frustrated" over custody arrangements and the pair had an argument when he dropped off their daughter at the property.

Mills had assaulted Ms Jones by pressing his forehead against hers and pushing her to the ground during a "chaotic" row, the trial heard, when he accused her of causing injuries to his arm.

District judge Polly Gledhill, sentencing him at Croydon Magistrates' Court, told him she wanted him to work on how he thinks and behaves as he "lost his temper and used violence".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The rapper appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court last month for the trial

After reading pre-sentence reports, she told Mills that he had shown "no remorse for this matter" and "you continue to place the blame on Ms Jones - the victim in this case".

He was given a community order with a 24-week curfew and told he must wear an electronic tag.

The judge said she was "satisfied" giving him an additional 12-month restraining order was a "necessary and proportionate" measure.

Mills was also ordered to pay £2,190 in costs and a £95 surcharge.

Judge Gledhill said Ms Jones had been "rocked to her core" by the attack and left with panic attacks and needing anxiety medication.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
A Press Association photographer said Mills smashed his camera outside court

She told Mills the incident was made more serious because it was "a violation of the trust and security of the people in an intimate family relationship", it happened in front of children, and it took place "in the victim's home" where "a person is entitled to feel safe".

The judge also said he displayed aggressive behaviour after his trial ended, when he took a camera from a PA news agency photographer and threw it into the road, smashing it, outside the court.

Mills' defence lawyer. Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC. told the court a pre-sentence report showed a low risk of reoffending and described the assault as "wholly isolated" and "short-lived".

She said: "His concern and only concern was that his children were thriving and had focused on raising his children ... who he wants to have a happy family."

As a parent, he provides "warmth, love and affection to his children", who "love and respect him", she added, and work has been undertaken with his ex-partner to sort out their settlement and childcare arrangements.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The rapper will appear again at Croydon Magistrates' Court next year

Ms Bennett-Jenkins said Mills, who had no previous convictions, had carried out charity work during the pandemic, including backing a kitchen which helped youngsters in London.

The court heard about other charity work Mills has done, though it was told it "does not distract from the seriousness of the offence".

Mills released his debut album, Boy In Da Corner, in 2003. His seventh studio album E3 AF, which refers to his east London postcode and African heritage, is due out on 30 October.

He was made an MBE for services to music in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2020 and performed at festivals in August including Live At Lydiard in Swindon and Boardmasters in Cornwall.

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