Red Dwarf's 'Cat' given community service for attacking dustmen in recycling row

Red Dwarf star Danny John-Jules has been ordered to carry out 120 hours community service for assaulting two dustmen.

The 48-year-old actor, who starred as Cat in the BBC sitcom, had been found guilty at an earlier hearing of attacking the father and son team.

District Judge Margot Coleman told John-Jules at Brent Magistrates' Court, north west London: 'This was an ugly incident.

'The offences are aggravated because these were two men who were carrying out their employment, and they are entitled to be able to do that without fear of being assaulted by anybody.'

Danny John-Jules
Danny John-Jules as Cat in Red Dwarf

Danny John-Jules leaves court after being ordered to carry out 120 hours of community service for assaulting two dustmen. (Right) - in action as Cat in BBC sitcom Red Dwarf

The judge ordered him to pay £350 towards costs and £75 compensation to each victim - Jan and Jaroslaw Lisiecki.

John-Jules' lawyer, Laurence Kench, told the court the actor did not accept the earlier verdicts and John-Jules told reporters afterwards: 'My conscience is clear.'

Inder Gohlar, prosecuting, said that in February this year police were called to Whitmore Gardens, Kensal Rise, north west London.

The father, Jan, had made a statement in which he said that the man in a green dressing gown was shouting and swearing when they could not accept his bin for recycling because there were all sorts of items in it that they did not pick up.

The man kicked the container, kicked him on the right calf, then punched his son in the face and also spat in his son's face, he said.

Jan himself was also punched, and fell against the metal handles of the lorry, hurting his head, the court heard.

Mr Kench, defending, said John-Jules did not accept the verdicts of guilty to two counts of common assault.

He added: 'This sort of behaviour is completely at odds with all that he is known for and by. The number of people willing to write references for him and come to court shows that.

'He has already suffered professionally because of this.'

John-Jules said outside the court: 'I'm going to sleep well tonight, community service or no community service. There's nothing like a clear conscience.'

He added: 'Do you think anybody in their right mind would offer their DNA up for analysis if they had been thrashing two Polish guys up and down the street.

'Nobody seems to be smelling the coffee here, everybody seems to be on an agenda of fantasy.'

He added: 'I've been doing community service for over 30 years, this is just another day. I've been in showbusiness 30 years, I've never had an article written about anything good that I've done.'

He said there would be a documentary made, and he would take a polygraph (lie detector).

Norman Lovett, 62, who played Holly the computer in Red Dwarf, attended court prepared to speak on his behalf, but was not called upon to do so.

He said afterwards: 'I came along here today, because I couldn't believe it when I read in the paper that he had been found guilty. I came along to say some words on his behalf although I wasn't needed.

'He is one of life's good guys, there's no doubt about it.'

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now