Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 16:24 UK

Mills assault conviction quashed

Heather Mills
A GP's letter said Heather Mills was too stressed to attend court

A photographer who was found guilty of assaulting Heather Mills in Brighton has had his conviction quashed because she was too stressed to attend court.

Jay Kaycappa, 32, of Hampshire, was due to appeal against his conviction, but the Crown could not respond because Ms Mills refused to give evidence.

A GP wrote to Lewes Crown Court saying Ms Mills was suffering from stress.

Mr Kaycappa was also convicted of attacking Ms Mills's friend, Mark Payne. Both convictions were quashed.

Mr Kaycappa was convicted last August by Brighton magistrates for grabbing the ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney by her shoulder and taking her photograph in a subway in July 2006.

The father-of-three, of The Hurdles, Fareham, was also found guilty of assaulting her friend Mark Payne the following evening and given a 140-hour community order sentence.

He was also ordered to pay 100 to Ms Mills, 50 to Mr Payne and legal costs of 1,000.

'Photographic proof'

At an administrative hearing on Tuesday, prosecutor Dale Sullivan said Ms Mills was "refusing to give evidence" and a summons could not be served because "we don't know where she is".

He said: "Reading press reports, we believe she is in the east coast of America."

The judge said the Crown tried to contact Ms Mills but was diverted to her sister who said there was no need for her to give evidence and there was no-one to say whether she could attend court.

Two other witnesses, Mark Payne and his partner Michael Shilub who were with Ms Mills in Brighton, were willing to appear via videolink from America.

But a legal technicality meant the court could not accept evidence on an appeal via videolink.

Afterwards, Mr Kaycappa's barrister Justin Rivett said his client would be disappointed not to have his defence heard at appeal.

He said: "I endorse his belief that he had clear photographic evidence that proved he didn't commit the alleged offence on Ms Mills."




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