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Thursday, 3 October, 2002, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Violence mars awards party
Sunborn Yacht Hotel
The party was on the luxury Sunborn Yacht Hotel
Allegations that a woman was raped and a man assaulted have been made following an after-show party for the Music of Black Origin (Mobo) Awards, police have confirmed.

Party-goers said the event on a luxury yacht descended into chaos in the early hours of Wednesday, with armed police called after a bullet was found on the floor.

Ms Dynamite at the Mobos
Ms Dynamite was reportedly among stars at the party
Singer Ms Dynamite, who won three awards at the glittering ceremony at London Arena, was reportedly caught up in a crush.

Awards organisers said the party was not a Mobo event, but was thrown by record company BMG, whose artist Alicia Keys was among the winners.

A statement from BMG said it was concerned about inaccurate media reporting of the party.

"We categorically state that our utmost priority was to ensure the safe passage of all guests on board the yacht and this was maintained throughout the event," it read.

The trouble is the latest in a string of violent incidents to mar Mobo after-show parties in recent years, and comes after highly-publicised problems on the UK garage music scene.

Overcrowding

Police were called when an angry group of 200 people were left outside the Sunborn Yacht Hotel anchored in the Royal Victoria Docks, east London, trying to get in.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said officers arrived to find overcrowding at the floating hotel's entrances.

Dani Behr at the Mobos
Dani Behr said she feared for her safety in the crush
While police were there, they were approached by a woman who said she had been raped in the toilets, but did not want to take the matter any further.

Security guards for the event also told officers that a man had been attacked in a bar, but he also did not wish to pursue the matter.

TV presenter Dani Behr told a newspaper that a crush developed in the hotel lobby as she tried to leave the venue.

BMG admitted there was an issue with "crowd congestion" at the entrance to the party.

"Guests were held in the lobby for a few minutes while the outside crowd were cleared," its statement said.


We would like to make it clear that the Mobo Awards had no involvement or connection with this event

Mobo Awards organisers

"This was not as has been reported to 'trap people' but actually to protect them so that their safe exit could be managed effectively and without hassle."

But Behr told The Sun: "I was very scared. I was trying to get out and the doors were all locked.

"We were stuck in the lobby, which was very small, watching these people outside get angrier and angrier."

A spokeswoman for the Mobo Awards said: "We would like to make it clear that the Mobo Awards had no involvement or connection with this event."

Peter Tatchell, of OutRage!, outside the Mobos
Peter Tatchell was said to be "bashed and bruised" by rap fans
Outside the awards ceremony itself, protestors from gay rights group OutRage! were verbally abused and spat at by fans who had gathered to see the stars arrive.

The group says two of its members, including leader Peter Tatchell, were also kicked and beaten, although the police say they were not informed about a physical attack.

"They were physically attacked in the sense that they were bashed and bruised. But shock was probably the greatest injury," OutRage! spokesman David Allison said.

In 1999, trouble flared when a group of gatecrashers smashed a bottle on the head of a bouncer and forced their way into a Mobos after-show party.

The previous year, police had to head off ugly scenes and keep 200 gatecrashers out of an after-show party.

See also:

02 Oct 02 | Entertainment
01 Oct 02 | Entertainment
01 Oct 02 | Entertainment
17 Sep 02 | Entertainment
18 Sep 02 | Entertainment
04 Oct 01 | Entertainment
03 Oct 01 | Entertainment
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