Dizzee Rascal's ex-fiancee ‘attacked him with mobile phone', court told
Grime star Dizzee Rascal has told a court that he did not assault his ex-fiancee and that she attacked him with a mobile phone.
The musician, 38, whose real name is Dylan Mills, was giving evidence at Inner London Crown Court during an appeal against his conviction for assaulting Cassandra Jones on June 8 2021.
He denied being angry when he arrived at her south London home, barging inside, hitting his head against the fridge, pushing his head against hers and moving her around or dragging her across the floor.
Mills, who had two children with Ms Jones before they split in February 2021, told the court that she was “hostile” to him when he eventually got to her home.
Voices were raised as a row over money broke out between the musician, who is known for chart-topping singles Bonkers and Dance Wiv Me, his ex-fiancee and her mother Dawn Kirk.
He said he went into the kitchen and asked Ms Kirk “why she had let Cassie use my kids as weapon against me”.
Mills said of Ms Jones that “she was shouting at me” before adding “we were all shouting, it was very loud”.
He said: “She was hitting out at me. She hit me a few times and she scratched me. She hit me with the phone.”
He added: “I took it off her. She was hitting me and hit me again.”
He described himself as “calm and relaxed” when the police arrived but the court heard he told them “I am the aggressor”.
Asked by his defence lawyer Sallie Bennett-Jenkins KC about why he made that comment, Mills replied: “I was just making light and making banter.”
She asked him: “Did you at any stage whilst at the premises, did you do anything to physically assault Cassie?”
Mills replied: “I didn’t”.
At one point during the row that night Mills took the mobile phones belonging to Ms Jones and her mother away from them.
Prosecutor Helena Duong suggested to Mills that the “real reason” behind this was he wanted to thwart any attempts by them to call the police for help.
Mills responded: “No, I took it because she was already hitting me.”
In a prepared statement given to police after Mills had been arrested in connection with the alleged assault, he said he was left with scratches to his left arm from the attack which had been documented by a nurse, the court heard.
Mills said he had a “good day” with his family in the hours before the alleged attack.
He said he was not in a “bad mood” when he arrived at the house but had found it “annoying” that Ms Jones had persistently contacted him about why he was late arriving at the house.
The court has previously heard that Ms Jones said Mills had reduced her “allowance” from £2,000 to £1,800 when she was “badly behaved”.
She denied that the background to the row on the day of the alleged attack was about money.
On Friday, Mills said he always provided financially for Ms Jones and his children and he did not use his wealth as a way to control her.
He told the court: “I think that’s not fair. I do not understand. I paid all the bills and when she got anything for the kids she would invoice me.”
Mills added: “I do not understand why I would need to control her.”
His former girlfriend Tanya Chehrehnegary told the court that Mills was “very attentive, considerate, courteous, generous, patient and kind”.
She said he was “not confrontational and our arguments always ended in laughter”.
In closing speeches, Ms Duong told the court that Ms Jones had been “consistent on things that are memorable events” including Mills “bashing his head against the fridge and banging his head against hers”.
She added the court could consider whether any differences in Ms Jones’s recollections of the alleged attack are the words of “someone who is lying about what happened” or are her “remembering something from a difficult chaotic scene when her children are present”.
Ms Duong added that “just because there may be differences in the telling of that story does not mean that it is not true” and “in this case there is credible, reliable and supportive evidence that this court can rely on to dismiss the appeal”.
Ms Bennett-Jenkins said this case has been “riddled with inconsistencies and untrue statements” from Ms Jones who she described as being “upset, irate and financially motivated”.
In April 2022, Mills was given a community order, including a 24-week curfew and 12-month restraining order banning him from contacting his former partner, as well as being ordered to pay £2,190 in costs and a £95 surcharge.
Mills, who released his debut album, Boy In Da Corner, in 2003, was made an MBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020.