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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Singer's punch 'was self-defence'
Cheryl Tweedy arrives at court on Tuesday
Cheryl Tweedy seemed proud about punching the woman, the jury heard
Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy has told a court she punched a nightclub toilet attendant because she was acting in self-defence.

The pop star said she was not a racist and only punched Sophie Amogbokpa because she was "scared, angry and upset" after being hit herself.

Earlier on Tuesday Kingston Crown Court had heard Miss Tweedy slammed her fist into her hand after punching the club worker and threatened to "finish her off".

A witness told the jury that the pop star, from Heaton in Newcastle, seemed "proud" she had given Sophie Amogbokpa a black eye.

There is no way I'm going to stand there and let someone hit me when I can defend myself
Cheryl Tweedy's statement to police

Miss Tweedy has denied attacking 39-year-old Mrs Amogbokpa in a row in the Drink nightclub in Guildford, Surrey on 11 January.

The court heard from members of staff at the club who said Miss Tweedy made racist remarks about Mrs Amogbokpa and said she was going to "do" her.

The club's manager and director both told the jury they had to calm down the 20-year-old singer after the incident.

Mark on the face

The court has heard she and Mrs Amogbokpa were arguing over a handful of lollipops Miss Tweedy took without leaving a tip.

The singer is then said to have punched Mrs Amogbokpa with a right hook, knocking her glasses off.

But when statements Miss Tweedy gave police were read to the court, they included claims she had tried to pay for the lollipops only for Mrs Amogbokpa to punch her.

She said: "As I went to get 1 out of my bag, I felt hit in the face, so obviously I was shocked because of what I do.

"I thought 'the last thing I need is a mark, I have a live television show today, the last thing I need is mark on the face', so I hit her back."

Tried to calm her

When asked why she had punched Mrs Amogbokpa, the pop star told police: "Because I got a shock and there is no way I'm going to stand there and let someone hit me when I can defend myself."

Earlier, the club's general manager Giovanni di Somma told the jury Miss Tweedy had made a hand-punching gesture as he tried to calm her down in the VIP area.

He said: "She said to me 'you bring me that black bitch up here and I will show you how I'll do her'."

But Miss Tweedy denied she had used any racist abuse and said she did not even know what one of the terms she allegedly used meant.

Miss Tweedy denies racially aggravated assault occasioning actual bodily harm and an alternative charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.




SEE ALSO:
Singer Tweedy 'used right hook'
10 Oct 03  |  England
Singer 'racially insulted' woman
09 Oct 03  |  England
Singer Cheryl Tweedy to face trial
04 Jun 03  |  England


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