Happy Mondays' Bez jailed for refusing community service

Former Happy Mondays star sentenced to four weeks in jail after defying magistrate in court outburst

Bez will spend four weeks in jail after a dramatic outburst at Manchester magistrates court. The former Happy Mondays dancer and tambourine-shaker, who was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, reportedly shouted "Victory is in my grasp!" just as handcuffs were locked around his wrists.

Bez, real name Mark Berry, was convicted on 12 August of assaulting Monica Ward, the mother of his two-year-old son. The chair of the bench conceded that it was a relatively "gentle" attack, but ruled that "a technical assault took place" and ordered sentencing to take place this week.

But Bez would not go quietly. Yesterday, he rejected the sentence – 100 hours of community service and £450 in court costs – announcing, "I'm not doing it". According to the Manchester Evening News, the 46-year-old, who was representing himself, refused to recognise the court's authority. The facts of the case were "totally ignored," he alleged, and the court "did not deliberate or listen to the evidence". "You want to be seen to make an example of me in front of the press and the television media," he said. "I am going to enter an immediate appeal and take this matter to the crown court with a real judge and jury."

This was not well received. Chair Marie Cash declared she had "no choice" and promptly sentenced the Celebrity Big Brother winner to four weeks in jail. At Bez's last-minute request, a solicitor lodged an appeal – but bail was refused, and the appeal will have to proceed in crown court at a future date. "I can't wait to win this next fixture," Bez said on his way to the cells.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Happy Mondays
More Dadchester than Madchester, the Mondays struggle to induce the lose-yourself euphoria of their bleary years, writes Caroline Sullivan

Caroline Sullivan

13, May, 2012 @1:08 PM

Article image
Happy Mondays – review
The re-formed Happy Mondays ride again, but to a half-empty hall. What's gone wrong, wonders Kitty Empire

Kitty Empire

23, Dec, 2012 @12:07 AM

Article image
Bez's win revives Happy Mondays

The Happy Mondays, the band in which Bez, recent winner of Channel 4's Celebrity Big Brother, first found fame as a dancer, are hoping to cash in on his unexpected success. By Owen Gibson.

Owen Gibson

28, Jan, 2005 @2:02 PM

Article image
Bez to sit out Happy Mondays reunion
Maraca-waving dancer says he is 'too old' to join Manchester band on reunion tour in May

Sean Michaels

01, Mar, 2012 @11:12 AM

Article image
Happy Mondays' Bez convicted of assault
Dancer with Manchester band found guilty of attacking ex-girlfriend following an argument about money

Sean Michaels

13, Aug, 2010 @9:50 AM

Article image
Open thread: Which is the best Happy Mondays song?
Adam Boult: This Saturday's Guardian comes with a free copy of Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches. But which Happy Mondays song is best?

Adam Boult

22, Jun, 2012 @1:54 PM

Article image
Bez gets Happy Mondays disqualified from Bargain Hunt special
Dancer broke show’s rules by artificially inflating prices, handing victory to Pulp

Jim Waterson Media editor

28, Sep, 2018 @11:01 AM

Article image
Get Buzzin’ With Bez: Happy Mondays star to launch YouTube fitness class
Cult hero wants to ‘get fit and mentally happier’ after ‘mainly sitting on sofa’ during lockdown

Mattha Busby

09, Jan, 2021 @6:08 PM

Article image
Happy Mondays confirmed for Bez's all-day anti-fracking festival
Taking place at Fleetwood FC's Highbury Stadium on 1 June, Toyah Wilcox, Big Country, the Troggs, Alabama 3 and Bad Manners will also perform at Frack Free Sunday

Guardian music

20, May, 2014 @8:34 AM

Happy Mondays, Clapham Common, London

Clapham Common, London

Caroline Sullivan

25, Aug, 2004 @1:09 AM