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Evening Standard

Rapper Dizzee Rascal mounts appeal against domestic violence conviction

Mills completed charity work during the pandemic, the court was told (Aaron Chown/PA)

(Picture: PA Wire)

Disgraced grime rapper Dizzee Rascal is mounting an appeal against his conviction and sentence for attacking his ex-fiancee in a row over child care.

The 37-year-old star was found guilty of pressing his forehead into the head of Cassandra Jones and pushing her to the floor during a chaotic argument at her mother’s Streatham home.

Wimbledon magistrates court heard the rapper, real name Dylan Mills, was “frustrated” by childcare plans and Ms Jones’ complaints that he was late to drop off their daughter after a day out.

Sentencing Mills, District Judge Polly Gledhill said he had “lost his temper and used violence”, imposing a restraining order banning him from contacting Ms Jones and ordering him to observe a 24-week electronically tagged curfew.

The rapper has now lodged an appeal at Inner London crown court, challenging both the guilty verdict and the sentence imposed on April 8.

A preliminary hearing of the appeal is due to take place on May 20, with a full appeal pencilled in for September 30.

(PA)

Mills, who was awarded the MBE for service to music in 2020, shot to fame with his debut album Boy in Da Corner, and his seventh studio album is due to be released later this year.

The attack on Ms Jones happened on June 8 last year, when the mother of his two children said Mills barged into her mother’s home, a few months after their relationship had ended.

She said the rapper banged his head on the fridge repeatedly and was shouting at Ms Jones’ mother, Dawn Kirk.

“On returning home with his child late, he lost his temper,” said the judge, who concluded Mills took his ex-fiancee’s phone when she tried to call police to come and intervene.

“He assaulted her by pushing her around the lounge by his forehead and by barging past when she tried to retrieve her phone, putting her to the ground”, she said.

Sentencing Mills, the judge said Ms Jones had been “rocked to her core” by the attack and left with panic attacks and needing anxiety medication.

“It represents a violation of the trust and security of the people in an intimate family relationship”.

When he was found guilty of domestic abuse, a visibly irate Mills stormed out of the dock at Wimbledon magistrates court and threw a photographer’s camera across the road as he left the building.

Judge Gledhill said Mills had shown “no remorse” for the attack on Ms Jones.

Defence lawyer Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC told the court the incident was “wholly isolated” and “against the unfortunate backdrop of the break-up of a longstanding relationship where children were involved”.

“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”, she said.

“The incident was short-lived and, by the time the police had been called and arrived, Mr Mills was seated outside the address, where he was calm and co-operative at all stages.”

Mills was sentenced to a 12-month restraining order banning him from contacting his former partner except for during court proceedings, at other official meetings or through his solicitors for childcare arrangements.

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