Rapper Bugzy Malone punched two men ‘in self-defence’ after break-in

Rapper Bugzy Malone punched two men in self-defence after rushing home when his tearful partner rang to say three men were trying to break in, a jury has heard.

The Manchester-born grime artist said he feared for the safety of his then girlfriend and his mother who were inside the property in Ramsbottom, near Bury, and also received a call from a neighbour who told him his house was “being done over”.

Giving evidence at Manchester Crown Court, Malone, 30, said: “You know you are going into a volatile situation. I was nervous driving back.”

As he turned into the road leading to his address, he said he saw his neighbour, builder Paul Potter, with two men “in what was clearly a confrontation”.

He said: “I jumped out of the car and ran over to the confrontation and straight to Paul. I was concerned the men were going to do something to Paul.

“I then asked Paul ‘Are these the guys who broke into the house?’ and, as I said, that one of the men had come towards me – he was kind of on a side angle to me – and he threw his arms in front of him.

“I stepped back as he stepped towards me and, reflex really, I hit him.”

He said the man fell into his neighbour’s van and then on to the ground.

Malone went on: “His friend came round the back of the van and was clearly attacking me, and I hit him.

“It all happened very quickly. The closer I got to the situation I could tell these guys were not interested in talking.”

He told his barrister, Gordon Cole QC, he did not inflict any other blows and did not kick anyone as he stepped over the man on the ground and ran back to his car.

The Crown say Malone, who is appearing in court under his real name Aaron Davies, was consumed by rage and punched the men unprovoked – breaking their jaws – in “retribution” after he wrongly believed they were the intruders.

Wireless Festival 2019 – Day 1
Bugzy Malone, real name Aaron Davies, is accused of two counts of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm in September 2018 (Isabel Infantes/PA)

One witness told the court Malone kicked the man on the ground in the back of the head “like a football”.

Malone told Maria Brannan, cross-examining, he did not strike out in anger.

He said the first man “lunged towards me and I feared for my safety”.

The second man made a “sharp movement in my direction with his fists clenched”, he added.

Malone said he did not recall the second man allegedly being held by Mr Potter as he delivered his punch.

Miss Brannan said: “You punched those two men as hard as you could.”

“No,” replied Malone.

Jurors have heard the “unlikely” backdrop to the events on September 9 2018 was the town’s annual black pudding throwing festival.

A “terrified” teenage girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, rang her parents at the festival, asking them to pick her up from nearby Nuttall Park after saying she and her friends had been chased by Malone.

Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew – Manchester Arena
Bugzy Malone has performing around the world (Nick Potts/PA)

She said a young male in their group had earlier climbed on to a wall at Malone’s house and peered over the front gates and shouted the musician’s name.

Her father decided to visit Malone to get his version of events and was joined by a family friend and the boy’s father.

The court has heard that the boy’s father threw a brick at the gates before forcing his way in to the courtyard of the property, and the rest of the group walked off before they came across Malone returning home.

The jury was told that the boy’s father was later prosecuted and convicted of causing criminal damage.

On Friday, Malone denied chasing the youngsters in his car and said his intention was not to scare them off but to “motivate them” to stay away from his property.

He told the jury he had a troubled upbringing and was kicked out of school at the age of 13 before he “gravitated towards other kids that were getting trouble”.

Malone agreed with Mr Cole that he was “heading towards the wrong side of the tracks” before he became involved with boxing when he was about 16, and later rapping. A successful career performing around the world followed, including appearing at the Glastonbury Festival.

In June 2016, jurors were told, Malone appeared at Manchester Crown Court and pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

In the early hours of January 25 2015 he became involved in an argument in a nightclub with another male who was later ejected by door staff. Outside, a scuffle took place between the pair after the other man used racial insults and Malone punched him twice in the mouth.

Malone, now living in London, denies two counts of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm in September 2018.