Manchester

Happy Mondays' Bez wanted by police in Manchester

Mark Berry and former partner Monica Ward, pictured in 2006
Image caption Bez assaulted his ex-girlfriend Monica Ward in a row over money

Ex-Happy Mondays dancer Bez is wanted by police over allegations he breached a restraining order by contacting his ex-girlfriend.

Monica Ward claims he has pestered her with text messages and phone calls since he was convicted of assaulting her in August.

Bez - real name Mark Berry - was jailed for four weeks and was told he must not contact her for two years.

Greater Manchester Police said they were trying to track him down.

Bez had been living at a friend's house in Urmston, Greater Manchester, but has since disappeared following the fresh claims.

The singer, who found fame for his dancing in the Happy Mondays in the late 1980s, flew into a rage about money and throttled Ms Ward - the mother of his two-year-old son - back in May.

Maintains innocence

He was originally given a community service order for committing the assault but refused to comply with the sentence and was then sent to prison by Manchester magistrates.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman added: "He is said to have made repeated attempts to contact Monica by phone and text.

"Attempts are being made to track him down. We may need to get another police force involved."

He has maintained his innocence throughout, and last month he lost his appeal at Manchester Crown Court to overturn his conviction and was also ordered to pay £500 costs.

"It's a joke," Bez said from the dock.

"I'm going to take this to a higher court. I'm not paying nothing."

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