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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 18:26 GMT
Bono defends REM guitarist
Guitarist Peter Buck
Peter Buck was arrested shortly after touchdown
U2's Bono has told a jury of his shock at hearing that REM guitarist Peter Buck was accused of attacking two cabin crew on a plane.

The singer, whose real name is Paul Hewson, made a surprise appearance at Isleworth Crown Court as a character witness for his friend of 17 years.

Asked to describe Mr Buck's personality, Dubliner Bono said: "I came over because he is actually famously known for being peaceful."

Mr Buck denies one charge of being drunk on Boeing 747 Seattle-to-Heathrow in April, two counts of common assault involving head steward Mario Agius and steward Holly Ward, and one charge of damaging British Airways crockery.

Bono appeared in court minus his trademark sunglasses
Bono "wanted to stand up and be heard"

Bono said U2 and REM had socialised during the long period of time they had shared on the music scene - but he had never seen Mr Buck drunk or taking drugs.

"I could not believe my eyes and ears," he said of the allegations

"I just wanted to stand up and be heard."

Bono added that Mr Buck was also a "famous parent" who finds touring hard because he misses his children so much.

"He is a very quiet man.

"This may embarrass him - but I had to come here and say it."

According to the prosecution, Buck spent much of the flight guzzling wine and behaving like a lout.

We like each other's company


Witnesses have claimed two cabin staff were covered in yoghurt.

It is also alleged Mr Buck attempted to slip a knife up his sleeve as he tried to clear up a mess he made of food and crockery.

In his defence, the guitarist said he took a sleeping pill shortly after boarding the plane, and then suffered a blackout until he "woke up" in Heathrow police station.

The case continues on Tuesday.

See also:

18 Mar 02 | England
REM star 'behaved like lout'
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