|Wet Wet Wet Star Admits Assaulting Girlfriend|
Mitchell banned from approaching her Brookville Road home
Neil Mitchell, keyboard player with pop group Wet Wet Wet, has admitted assaulting his girlfriend in her Fulham home.
Mitchell, 44, lashed out at 39 year-old Olivia Warren, allegedly causing facial injuries.
At earlier hearings a court was told Mitchell had punched and kicked his partner before pulling out clumps of her hair.
Mitchell, who had hits with Love Is All Around and Goodbye Girl before Wet Wet Wet split in 1999 spent 20 hours in custody after being arrested in July 2009.
He had previously pleaded not guilty to the assault charge, but changed his plea to guilty at his trial was about to begin on Monday at Kingston Crown Court.
During the subsequent nine minute hearing, his barrister Jill Evans said that Mitchell had been seeking help for alcoholism since the incident.
She said: " Since the commission of the offence the defendant has attended counselling in relation to a drink problem that he accepts was fundamentally and severely the cause of this."
She went on to say that the couple had reflected on what happened and now saw a future together and asked for bail conditions, banning Mitchell from contacting Ms Warren, either directly or indirectly, or from entering Brookville Road, to be lifted.
She said: " He has pleaded guilty, he is of good character, and they see their future together – it’s a false situation to require them to have no contact when they were in a serious and close relationship before this incident. "
District Judge Susan Williams QC refused to vary the bail condition, saying that Mitchell had had 12 months in which to plead guilty to the assault " This matter was listed for trial today. It’s a very late plea," she said. "I am not going to vary the bail conditions for today."
Mitchell will be sentenced next month, and could face up to five years in jail.
May 18, 2010