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Thursday, 10 October, 2002, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Gulzar fined 200 for assault
Jimmy Gulzar
Jimmy Gulzar had denied the charge
The former husband of Spice Girl Mel B has been fined 200 after being convicted of assaulting a three-year-old autistic boy.

Jimmy Gulzar, 35, was found guilty at Horseferry Road Magistrates' Court in London of striking the boy after the three-year-old pushed another child.

He was ordered to pay an additional 200 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, Gulzar's solicitor John Burton said his client would appeal against the verdict.


I am satisfied that this is not a case of self-defence and that it was a question of assault

District Judge Anthony Evans

He said: "He feels aggrieved by what has occurred today.

"We will be appealing the conviction and for that reason he is not going to answer questions about the case."

Mr Burton said Gulzar had been forced to put his career on hold and a number of contracts - including work as a children's television presenter - had not come off because of the case.

The Dutch-born dancer from Willesden, north London, had denied common assault.

Both children had been playing at London Zoo on 1 September last year.


This case... has escalated because of, to use a popular phrase, chequebook journalism

District Judge Anthony Evans
Gulzar had claimed he hit the boy to protect another child, but District Judge Anthony Evans agreed with the prosecution's argument that Gulzar had lost his temper and smacked the child on his bottom.

The judge said: "I am satisfied that this is not a case of self-defence and that it was a question of assault. I find that proved."

The judge, however, said allegations suggesting the dancer had "roared" were an exaggeration.

He also said a deep red mark on the boy had no relation to the incident involving Gulzar.


He feels aggrieved by what has occurred today

John Burton, for Gulzar
He stressed that the level of criminality of the offence was "towards the bottom end" of seriousness as far as assaults were concerned.

He said the case had snowballed because witnesses had sold their stories to newspapers.

"One would expect this case to have been dealt with fairly expeditiously," he said.

"But regrettably it has escalated because of, to use a popular phrase, chequebook journalism."


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See also:

08 Oct 02 | England
14 Jan 00 | Entertainment
04 Jan 00 | Entertainment
14 Sep 98 | Entertainment
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