Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Thursday, 27 November 2008

Boy George 'reported data theft'

Boy George aka George O'Dowd
Boy George denies a single charge of false imprisonment

Singer Boy George, accused of tying a male escort in chains and beating him, had told police his laptop was hacked days before the incident, jurors heard.

But the singer said "nothing at all" about his suspicions regarding the involvement of escort Audun Carlsen, 29, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.

He named an ex-employee as the suspect, Det Con Matthew Foy told the court.

The singer, real name George O'Dowd, denies unlawfully detaining Mr Carlsen at his east London home last April.

Giving evidence in court, the officer, who was then posted at Stoke Newington police station, said the former Culture Club star reported personal data including photographs had been stolen.

Det Con Foy said: "He told me that photographs had been stolen from his computer by an ex-employee.

"He said the employee had worked for him and may have seen him type his password into the computer."

When Mr O'Dowd's computer was examined by police, they found no evidence that it had been tampered with, the court heard.

Hacking accusations

But Mr O'Dowd's lawyer, Adrian Waterman QC, suggested that the officer was "piecing together" information and that the singer may have named the ex-employee as one of several possible suspects.

When cross-examined, the officer said that although he spoke to the singer last April he had made no record of the conversation until earlier this month, relying on his memory to write the case report.

He said he remembered the conversation as it was "unusual" to speak to a celebrity and "because Mr O'Dowd is Boy George".

Earlier the court heard that Mr O'Dowd and Mr Carlsen had met on a social networking website and during a pornographic photo shoot they took cocaine and Mr O'Dowd performed a sex act on the escort.

Soon after that visit the singer accused the escort of hacking into his computer but they parted on good terms.

Mr Carlsen said that weeks later when he went to the singer's home in Shoreditch at his insistence, Mr O'Dowd and another man beat him, forced a manacle on his arm and chained him to a bedroom wall.

He escaped in his underwear and handcuffs. He claims he was imprisoned as the singer suspected him of hacking into his laptop.

The trial continues.

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