Dizzee Rascal’s ex-fiancee ’embellished and lied’ over assault, court told

The grime artist, whose real name is Dylan Kwabena Mills, denies assaulting Cassandra Jones at a residential property in Streatham, south London.

18 February 2022

Dizzee Rascal’s ex-fiancee has “embellished and lied” over accusations he “pushed her to the ground”, a court has heard.

The grime artist, whose real name is Dylan Mills, denies assaulting Cassandra Jones at a residential property in Streatham, south London, on June 8 last year.

The 36-year-old behind chart-topping singles Bonkers and Dance Wiv Me, who had two children with Ms Jones before they split in February 2021, appeared in a suit and tie at the Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court trial on Friday.

Prosecutor Helena Duong told the court the rapper had become “frustrated” over custody arrangements and the pair had a “chaotic” argument when he dropped their daughter off at the property.

Ms Duong said Mills “barged” his way into the house and started “shouting and screaming” before “banging his head three times on the fridge with his son in his arms”.

He then allegedly “put his forehead against hers and pushed her around the room” before he “pushed her to the ground” causing bruising to her arm.

Ms Jones told the court through tears that she repeatedly asked him to leave the house and to give back their baby son, saying he was “out of control”.

“I was scared for my babies”, she said.

Ms Jones later told the court that she argued with Mills about their split, saying: “I left you because of domestic abuse.”

Dizzee Rascal court case
Dizzee Rascal has denied assaulting his ex-fiancee (James Manning/PA)

But Sally Bennett-Jenkins QC, defending Mills, asked the court to throw out the case on Friday afternoon because of “embellishments, exaggerations, inconsistencies and lies” in Ms Jones’ evidence.

“Ms Jones was prepared to say absolutely anything about the altercation, which was verbal, we say,” she said.

Ms Bennett-Jenkins argued that Ms Jones had “accepted” she previously lied about how he had assaulted her.

While questioning Ms Jones, the lawyer asked why she wrote in her first police statement that Mills had “thrown her to the ground” instead of “pushed” or “barged” – as was now being used.

Ms Jones, who became increasingly upset throughout the cross-examination, said: “I was in shock about what had happened and I was still caring for both our babies.

“I’m sorry I used the wrong word but what happened happened and all I can do is speak my truth.”

In body-worn footage seen by the court, Pc Stephanie Johnstone, who attended the scene, could be seen telling Mills she needed to arrest him because of an allegation that “you had picked up and thrown her”.

Mills can be heard replying: “She pushed me.”

Andy Peach-Gussin, a neighbour who heard the shouting, told the court that Ms Jones came over to apologise to him about the incident and told him Mills had “dragged her along the floor by her hair”.

Ms Bennett-Jenkins also questioned the account of Ms Jones’ mother Dawn Kirk, who was present in the house during the argument.

She said her daughter yelled that Mills “just pushed me” despite writing in her first statement that she screamed “he just dragged me across the floor” followed by Mills protesting “no I didn’t”.

V Festival 2017 – Chelmsford
Dizzee Rascal denies the allegations (Ian West/PA)

In his first police statement read out in court, Mills denied the allegations and accused his ex-fiancee of assaulting him.

He said: “I did not push Cassandra to the floor. I did not push her forehead with my forehead.

“In fact, she assaulted me by pushing me and scratching my arm.”

Meanwhile, the prosecution rejected Ms Bennett-Jenkins’ argument that Ms Jones was not a “credible” witness.

District Judge Polly Gledhill then denied the defence’s request to toss out proceedings, saying: “At the moment I am satisfied that there is a case to be answered.”

She said the rapper will return to Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court to give his evidence on March 7.

Mills released his debut album, Boy In Da Corner, in 2003. His seventh studio album E3 AF, which refers to his east London postcode and African heritage, is due out on October 30.

He was made an MBE for services to music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020, and performed at festivals in August including Live At Lydiard in Swindon and Boardmasters in Cornwall.

Mills, of Sevenoaks in Kent, who was charged on August 2, denies assault by beating.

The trial continues.

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