Dappy avoids jail after threatening neighbours in Hatfield with large kitchen knife
PUBLISHED: 17:36 26 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:36 26 June 2017
N-Dubz rapper Dappy narrowly avoided going to jail this afternoon after his partner told a judge he was devoted to her and their daughter.
Imani Campbell had been involved in a blazing row with the singer during which he had armed himself with a large kitchen knife and used it to threaten neighbours outside their home.
But Imani told Judge Nigel Lithman QC she couldn’t ask for a better father for their daughter.
She said the entertainer looked after her and their daughter and was devoted to them.
“I feel he always gets painted out to be the aggressor but he is not,” she told the court.
Just feet away Dappy, real name Costas Contostavlos sat in the court dock.
He was brought to Luton Crown Court from Peterborough Prison where he had been held on remand since May when he was arrested for brandishing a knife in the street outside his home in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
When he appeared today, his barrister Tom Flavin said prison had not been easy for the rapper who is the cousin of former X-Factor judge, Tulisa.
He said Dappy was sporting a black eye having been targeted while in jail by other inmates.
“There is a black eye on his face as a result of other people seeking to further their own status by taking on someone of fame.”
Dappy had been brought to the court knowing there was a good chance he would receive a custodial sentence of at least six months.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to having a bladed article in a public place on May 10 this year.
But because it was his second knife offence he faced a minimum six months behind bars - unless there were exceptional circumstances.
Today after hearing from Imani who addressed the judge from the witness box, the judge decided he could suspend a prison sentence.
He sentenced Dappy to nine months but suspended it for two years.
The star was told he must also attend a “Building Better Relationships Programme”.
It was on the afternoon of May 10 this year that the couple were involved in a blazing row at their home in Roe Green Close in Hatfield which spilled outside on to the driveway and front garden.
Prosecutor Niel King said the noise from the couple could be heard by their neighbours who came outside their homes to try and speak to Imani to see if she was alright.
Dappy who at that point had been back inside their home then came outside brandishing a large kitchen knife.
Mr King said the singer moved forward on to the street and with the knife made threats to the neighbours claiming he would get his “boys” to come round.
The court heard the threats only lasted for between 10 and 15 seconds but his neighbours had been alarmed and the police were called.
Dappy was in danger of going to prison today because of his conviction in 2005 for having a Swiss army knife in a public place.
Judge Lithman was told the singer had chalked up a total of seven convictions for 10 offences which included battery.
Dappy’s barrister said: “He is a man who lost his dad when he was 19 and he had fame thrust upon him at a very young age. He has a music career.”
Passing sentence the judge told the singer: “You were wound up and out of control.”
But he said the wrongdoing that day had been “momentarily” and he noted that Dappy had used his time while in prison as a good influence for others.