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  Day-by-day guide to Cheryl's trial
Updated 20 October 2003, 15.56
Cheryl Tweedy outside court in Kingston
Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Tweedy, 20, of Heaton, Newcastle, was accused of hurting a toilet attendant called Sophie Amogbokpa and of calling her racist names.

She denied the charges.

The jury cleared her of being racist, but she was found guilty of punching Sophie.

The trial followed an incident in the toilet of a Guildford nightclub called The Drink on 11 January 2003.

It was held at Kingston Crown Court in Surrey.

Day one: Thursday 9 October

Sophie tells the court that a row broke out when Cheryl refused to pay for some lollipops.

"She was very aggressive and she acted violently towards me," claims Sophie.

She says Cheryl also made racist comments.

Cheryl's lawyer denies this.

He points out that Sophie signed a police statement which made no reference to Cheryl being racist.

Day two: Friday 10 October

The nightclub's head of security, Philip White, gives evidence.

He claims Cheryl gave Sophie a "right hook" and that he heard her making racist comments.

Another clubber tells the court that she saw Cheryl hit Sophie.

"When the toilet attendant learned forward to take the lollies from Cheryl, Cheryl punched her," Bryony Gibbs says.

Day three: Tuesday 14 October

It's Cheryl's turn to give evidence.

She admits punching Sophie, but claims it was in self-defence.

She says Sophie hit her first, as she was getting cash out to pay for the lollipops.

"As I went to get 1 out of my bag, I felt hit in the face. I thought 'I have a live TV show today, the last thing I need is a mark on the face', so I hit her back."

Cheryl tells the court that she didn't make any racist remarks.

Day four: Wednesday 15 October

Cheryl breaks down in tears as she gives evidence.

She says she hit Sophie because she was scared of what might happen to her.

"She was a big, scary woman," says Cheryl.

She admits swearing at Sophie, but denies being racist.

"There's no way I would refer to anybody by their colour," she says.

Day five: Thursday 16 October

Cheryl's bandmate Nicola Roberts, who was with her in the nightclub toilet, gives evidence.

She claims Sophie hit Cheryl twice before Cheryl punched her back.

"She just retaliated in self defence, as anybody would if they had been punched in the face," says Nicola.

Nicola denies inventing the story to protect Cheryl, telling the court: "I'm not going to lie for anybody."

Day six: Friday 17 October

The lawyers acting for and against Cheryl give their closing speeches.

It's suggested that Cheryl lied about what happened because her career was just taking off.

The prosecuting lawyer claims that Cheryl was "full of her own importance" and "treated another woman extremely badly".

Cheryl's lawyer denies the claim, saying she had never used her fame to help her case.

He tells the court that the only witnesses who had accused Cheryl of being racist were people who worked with Sophie at the club.

Day seven: Monday 20 October

The judge sums up the case.

He tells the jury - who will decide whether or not Cheryl is guilty - that there was no question that Sophie had been injured.

He says the jury must decide whether Cheryl acted in self defence, and whether or not she had used any racist comments.

The jury later clears Cheryl of racially-aggravated assault, but finds her guilty of assault by a majority verdict (11 out of 12 jurors thought she should be convicted).

Hear storyHear story

More InfoBORDER=0
Find OutWhat is racism?
Find OutFind out how the law works


Past StoriesBORDER=0
Cheryl Tweedy 'not above the law'
Girls Aloud star: 'I didn't lie'
Racist claim 'embarrassed' Cheryl
Nightclub girl: 'I saw Cheryl throw punch'
Cheryl 'punched woman in lollipops row'



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