A rock star has admitted assaulting a fan whom he alleged shouted to him that he was “boring” at one of his gigs.
Ginger Wildheart, a guitarist and singer, was playing at the Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill, County Antrim, last August.
The musician (53) of Oak Tree Road in Eccleston near St Helens in Merseyside, appeared at Antrim Magistrates Court this week and pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The singer, who has links with The Wildhearts and used to be in a band called The Quireboys, told police the fan shouted “boring” and asked him to play different songs and he admitted approaching the man to discuss the matter.
Wildheart claimed to police there was a “scuffle” and believed the man – who had blood on his shoulder and a dressing on his head when police arrived – had fallen because he was intoxicated.
Wildheart also alleged he thought he was going to be attacked and acted in “self-defence”.
The fan told police Wildheart had hit him on the shoulder causing him to fall back against a wall and other people pulled the singer off him.
He said he went to hospital where he required stitches.
Wildheart told police if he had another chance he would “beat the f–king sh-t out of him” but later said he did not mean it.
A defence lawyer said his client regretted what he did and although he had “very little recollection” wished to apologise to the fan.
He said the singer had no previous convictions but was “under significant stress at the time”.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said a statement from the injured party said Wildheart had “rambled” on stage for ten minutes and had been “picking” on audience members.
The judge added: “The injured party says he has been a fan of ‘Ginger’ for a long time. This is hardly a great way for him to interact with his fans”.
The judge accepted alcohol played a part but that regardless of whatever dispute there had been it was no way to act.
He imposed a six months jail term, suspended for three years, and ordered the musician to pay £500 compensation to the fan.
According to social media the defendant was born David Leslie Walls.
His name was recorded as ‘Ginger Wildheart’ on the official court charge sheet.
Last August, Wildheart tweeted that he had spent a ‘night in the cells’ following his Ahoghill appearance.
Wildheart’s official Facebook fan page has around 18,000 followers and he tours widely.
Getting the star to a venue in a small village like Ahoghill was considered a coup by fans.