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Photographer sentenced for Mills-McCartney assaults

16 August 2007 - EPUK

Paparazzo Jay Kaycappa has been ordered to serve 140 hours community service after being found guilty of two assaults on Lady Heather Mills-McCartney and her companion last year.

Kaycappa, 32, who had denied all charges, had been commissioned to follow the estranged wife of former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney for several days in June last year while on shifts for the News of the World and Kent News and Pictures.

The photographer also ordered to pay Lady Mills-McCartney £100 and Mr Payne £50 as well as court costs of £1,000.

The magistrate told him: “In both incidents you demonstrated persistence that in fact we consider to be beyond an acceptable level. However your actions have not caused any injury.”

Mills-McCartney told Brighton Magistrates Court that Kaycappa had placed his hand on her shoulder to forcibly turn her round while photographing her in a Brighton subway. She told the court that the assault had left her with lasting damage to a vertebra requiring continuing treatment from a chiropractor.

Electronic metadata

During the trial, her version of events appeared to be disputed by the electronic metadata on Kaycappa’s series of pictures, which appeared to show that there was no time in which the assault could have occurred.

The sequence of photographs also appeared to show that Mills-McCartney left the subway by the south exit and appeared to show her chatting with her friends after the assault. She told the court she had left via the subway’s north exit.

A second photographer who was present in the subway at the time told the court that he did not see any assault take place.

But magistrates found Kaycappa guilty after hearing that he had 132 previous convictions for dishonesty. These included 62 convictions for fraud, as well as others including theft, burglary, destruction of a will, perverting the course of justice, obtaining property by deception, driving offences and misuse of a computer to disseminate a bomb threat.

Kaycappa, 32, of Fareham, Hampshire, who is married with three children, has previously used ten different aliases and six different dates of birth.

The photographer was also found guilty of a second assault on Mark Payne, a companion of Lady Mills McCartney the following day.

Chair of the bench Juliet Smith told Kaycappa that his evidence had been “confused and contradictory” while Lady Mills-McCartney had been a “credible” prosecution witness.

Editor’s note: Kaycappa was subsequently found not guilty on appeal

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