Kasabian’s former frontman Tom Meighan has been sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work in the community after pleading guilty to assaulting his former fiancee.
The 39-year-old appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic assault after attacking Vikki Ager in an alcohol-fuelled rage during lockdown in April.
The court was told Meighan – who quit the band on Monday – “smelt heavily of intoxicants” as he assaulted Ager.
CCTV footage played in court showed him striking the victim and dragging her by her ankles into the back garden of their home. The court was told that a child witnessed the assault and called 999 to say a “domestic incident was taking place”.
Prosecutor Naeem Valli said the child “sounded panicked and afraid” while making the call and the victim could be heard saying “get off me, get off me”.
The court heard Ager suffered bruising to her knees, left elbow, outer ankle and big toe as well as a reddening around the neck, which she confirmed to officers was a result of the assault.
Sentencing the Shoot the Runner singer, district judge Nick Watson said: “I need to take account of the fact that not only did you hurt Ms Ager, you also let down many people – band members and those who love your music.
“They will be shocked about what you did that night.
“I have been told that you have recognised that you have a problem with alcohol.”
Meighan, of Narborough, originally denied an assault had taken place but after watching video footage, he told officers he could not watch it any further because it was “horrible”.
Prosecutor Naeem Valli told the court the offence “could be argued to be relatively serious” – describing it as a “sustained assault”.
Defending Meighan, Michelle Heeley QC told the court he “offers his sincere apologies to the people he has let down and he has sought to address his offending behaviour”.
Heeley had made an application to the court for Meighan’s address to be withheld from the public – quoting “high-profile cases such as Caroline Flack who committed suicide in similar circumstances”.
The district judge dismissed the application after submissions from the PA news agency said a section 11 order banning the publication of a defendant’s address was “not enacted for the comfort and feelings of defendants”.
Meighan had been engaged to holistic therapist Ager since 2017. He has an eight-year-old daughter Mimi Malone with former long-term girlfriend Kim James.
The singer quit Kasabian on Monday, with the band releasing a statement saying he was dealing with “personal issues” and wanted to concentrate on “getting his life back on track”.
Announcing his departure from the band, Kasabian said in a statement on Twitter: “Tom Meighan is stepping down from Kasabian by mutual consent.
“Tom has struggled with personal issues that have affected his behaviour for quite some time and now wants to concentrate all his energies on getting his life back on track. We will not be commenting further.”
Tom Meighan is stepping down from Kasabian by mutual consent. Tom has struggled with personal issues that have affected his behaviour for quite some time and now wants to concentrate all his energies on getting his life back on track. We will not be commenting further.— KasabianHQ (@KasabianHQ) July 6, 2020
Meighan added on his own Twitter account: “Following today's announcement I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing well. I'm in a really good place now.
Following today's announcement I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing well. I'm in a really good place now. Thanks for all your love and support. I'll be seeing you all very soon. TM x #TomMeighan #Kasabian— Tom Meighan (@MeighanOfficial) July 6, 2020
Meighan was one of the founding members of the band in 1997 along with guitarist Serge Pizzorno and bassist Chris Edwards, while they were all at school together.
They released their self titled debut album Kasabian in 2004 and their hits include Fire, Club Foot, Underdog and Empire.
The rockers were due to play a one-off comeback gig in Leicester’s Victoria Park in June this year, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown.